Police Reform: Discuss and Strengthen it

 

STOP STATE VIOLENCE MOVEMENT
Secretariat : Suara Rakyat Malaysia
433A, 1st floor Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
(T) 603-7784 3525 (F) 603- 7784 3526 Email : [email protected]

Press Statement: 20 June 2013

Police Reform: Discuss and Strengthen it

The Stop State Violence Movement would like to applaud the rakyat for the pressure mounted on the government that moved the cabinet to act fast on the issues regarding the Royal Malaysian Police and its reform in particular the setting up of IPCMC.

The Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today that the government will implement a centralized lockup system where interrogations of suspects will take place. A permanent coroner’s court in every state in the country will also be established.

We welcome the setting up of the coroner court. This is also in line with SSV’s demand on setting up of an independent and competent Coroner’s Court system to replace the current Magistrate’s Inquest which is extremely problematic and ineffective. We do strongly believe that a coroner court system will only be effective if the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commissions (IPCMC) is formed.

This is because an independent investigation body like the recommended IPCMC will investigate any death in custody cases and provide the investigation report to the coroner for further action on prosecuting officers involved. If this is not established, we end up sitting in a coroner court listening to the investigation papers done by the police against their peers themselves. This strongly drops the credibility of the court on being independent. The concept of independence for accountability must be the common thread pulling together the various reforms required for the police force as a strong, credible and effective institution.

The government should make some study on the coroner court in other countries to understand the international standards available and applicable to our country. The appointment of the coroner itself should create a sense of trust among the people where the judge must be independent without any political appointments or political involvement. Countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and few more have already established coroner court in their countries and their experiences both the positive and negative, can be used as a research point to establish a similar one in Malaysia.

On the idea of setting up more lock ups, it will not be helpful in tackling the fundamental issues of lack of understanding of rights and standards; where there is lack of accountability; and absence of independent investigations on commissions and omissions of the police force. Having centralized lockups with CCTV and other gadgets are cosmetic touch ups on this issue. Recently, when activists were arrested and placed in the Jinjang lock up, the CCTV was not functioning. CCTV too can be manipulated. Such acts can only be eliminated if the police are conscious of the fact that there can be independent investigations and that they would be made accountable.

Police lack human rights education and understanding of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as well as inability to conduct an investigation objectively accordance to the human rights principles. Our police officers fail in recognizing the notion of presumption of innocence of an individual and always treat all the suspects who are arrested as criminal. The reform must be grounded with human rights education and the need to maintain standards.

We encourage the ministry to engage with the civil society to discuss and further strengthen the suggested reforms. This is also in accordance to the Recommendation 10 of the Police Royal Commission of Inquiry back in 2005, where the PDRM should engage with the local Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) with the support of the government.

We are ready to work closely with them in reforming the Royal Malaysian Police for the betterment of our country.

Released by,

Thevarajan R
Secretariat SSV
SUARAM

 

Stop More Deaths! Stop State Violence! Nothing Less Than the IPCMC!

Press Statement: 11 June 2013

STOP MORE DEATHS! STOP STATE VIOLENCE! NOTHING LESS THAN THE IPCMC!

Death List of 2013

The latest list of deaths under police custody for year 2013:

Date Name Age Location
14-Jan-13 Chang Chin Te 30 USJ 8
23-Jan-13 Sugumaran 39 Batu 14 Cheras
01-Feb-13 Mohd.Ropi 43 Temerloh, Died at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Hospital
10-Mar-13 M.Ragu 47 Kampar
17-Mar-13 UNKNOWN 55 Seri Alam Johor
21-May-13 Darmaindren 32 IPK KL
27-May-13 Jamesh Ramesh 40 Penang
01-Jun-13 Karunanithi 42 IPD Tampin
08-Jun-13 Nobuhiro Matsushita 33 USJ 8

9 cases of custodial death within 6 months of 2013. Comparing the total 9 deaths for the full year of 2012. Will the figures escalate for 2013 with the government and specifically the police force resisting any form of reform through an independent commission? Has the government and in particular the police believe that they are above accountability and thus continue to act with impunity? The rakyat says otherwise.

Revamping EAIC is the wrong road map for reform and accountability.

The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) clearly has proven by its commissions and performance that of issuing warnings is a toothless tiger without any power of enforcement of decisions taken.. Its CEO Nor Afizah Hanum Mokhtar acknowledged that only one investigating officer was assigned to probe 19 agencies (4 June 2013). She also suggested the need to increase the annual budget to at least RM25 million in order to perform well. However, the Stop State Violence movement believes that it is not just a question of more money or personnel for investigations, but the powers given to them to conduct effective investigations as well as to enforce their decisions. The EAIC can only give recommendations and then it is up to the police force to act on it. In spite of calls by the rakyat and civil society for the last ten years, the police force has not made any changes. It will continue to do so as it believes that it has wide powers in itself to act with impunity and the government of the day – BN government needs it to maintain power.

PKR in a press statement yesterday 11-06-13, stated that a member of the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC), Salehuddin Saidin is representing one of the 3 police officers charged as a lawyer for the murder of death in custody victim N Dhamendran. This is indeed a conflict of interest. How can he be expected to be independent and objective in his EAIC duties while defending his client.

With the revelation and the failure of the EAIC, it is indeed ridiculous for Datuk Paul Low, particularly as a former President of Transparency International Malaysia to continue to harp that it is better to revamp the EAIC than make all efforts to establish the IPCMC.

We would like to remind Datuk Paul Low to get his facts and analysis right. The Royal Commission on the Police force took a lot of effort, study and investigations to come up with a solid proposal for the oversight called Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission that can, and will bring about a reformed, disciplined and corrupt free police force that will be the pride of our nation.

SSV would also like to remind the new Minister in the Prime Ministers Department that it is not the issue of staff shortage or annual budget problem. The root issue of the EAIC is, the absence of power namely the prosecution power. The EAIC only has the power to investigate complaints and the finding of its investigation will be referred back to the police force.

Comparatively, the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) has more power as an oversight mechanism as it can initiate legal action against any officers for abuse of power. IPCMC was one of the 125 recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Police back in 2004.

Another power that IPCMC has, is to initiate its own investigation into any police power abuse cases without the need for a complaint to be made. EAIC on the other hand, waits for a complaint to be made before starting the investigations. If the EAIC was indeed an oversight mechanism for the agencies, it would have immediately launched an independent inquiry to get to the truth of the complaints of police power abuses that occurred.

We would like to provide a brief on the IPCMC as below:

1. Appointment of commissioners are done by Agong
2. IPCMC must be an independent body formed under the Parliament Act.
3. Commissioners durations are limited for 3 years only
4. Commissioners should not be from the police force- current of former.
5. IPCMC needs to submit its report to Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong
6. IPCMC needs to present its report in the Parliament.

We would also like to list some of the powers of IPCMC that was recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry back in 2005:

1. Power to initiate its own investigations without any complaints
2. Power to order PDRM or other agencies to provide any documents related to investigations.
3. Not subject to any secrecy law including the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
4. Power to initiate legal action on its own via its legal counsel.
5. Power to call up witness to hear their testimonies.
6. Power to enter premises including government offices for investigations purpose.

However, the police force needs a comprehensive and total reform. The Royal Commission did address it in totality and thus made various recommendations. We cannot just address death in custody but also how do we prevent torture while a person in custody. There is a dire need for better ways of investigations and accompanying procedures. There is a need for special courts as well. The SSV movement sees that there is a need to make the reforms collectively for a genuine change to be realized.
At the minimum, the following seven demands need to be taken up immediately and acted upon:

1. Without fear or favor, bring all offenders among the police, MACC and other enforcement agencies, to justice.
2. Immediately establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)
3. Institute an Ombudsmen system that enforces human rights practice in all enforcement agencies and their places of detention such as prisons, immigration detention centers and lockups;
4. Review and make public the law enforcement agencies’ standard operating procedures including the Inspector General Standing Order on police guidelines on discharge of firearms and detention and interrogation;
5. Support the setting up of an independent and competent Coroner’s Court system to replace the current Magistrate’s Inquest which is extremely problematic and ineffective;
6. Ratify the Convention against Torture and the Optional protocol” followed by necessary laws to eliminate torture.
7. Support human rights education and training programs, with a view to changing the attitudes, perceptions and methods of law enforcement personnel.

The SSV Coalition will begin an intensive campaign to end state violence against people with a initial series of actions:

1. On 13 June 2013, Thursday, a Public Forum “Stop State Violence” IPCMC Now. Will be organized at the Bar Council auditorium, KL
2. We will come up with a pledge for a commitment from MP’s to support the implementation of IPCMC
3. Online petition to support the implementation of IPCMC
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/minister-of-home-affairs-igp-and-chief-commissioner-stop-state-violence
4. Putting up banners on implementing the IPCMC.

This Coalition is supported by the following 30 organizations signed below.

Stop State Violence Movement

1. SUARAM

2. Tenaganita

3. Lawyers For Liberty
4. Malaysians for Beng Hock
5. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
6. Amnesty International Malaysia
7. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Masyarakat (Empower)
8. Malaysia Youth And Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
9. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
10. Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH
11. EMPOWER
12. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
13. KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth
14. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
15. Community Development Centre (CDC)
16. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
17. Persatuan masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
18. Community Action Network (CAN)
19. Serdang Bahru School Alumni Youth Section
20. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & KL (Prihatin)
21. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
22. MALAYSIAN INDIANS PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION (MIPAS)
23. PEOPLE’S WELFARE AND RIGHTS COALITION (POWER)
24. MALAYSIAN INDIANS TRANSFORMATION ACTION TEAM (MITRA)
25. ANGKATAN NASIONAL INDIA MALAYSIA (AGNI)
26. Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
27. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia
28. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
29. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)\
30. Kelab Bangsar Utama

Subang Jaya and Dang Wangi tops the number of deaths in police custody

 

STOP STATE VIOLENCE

MOVEMENT

 

Secretariat : SUARAM (Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd)
433A, 1st floor Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
(T) 603-7784 3525  (F) 603- 7784 3526    Email : [email protected]
 
Subang Jaya and Dang Wangi tops the number of deaths in police custody

Before even the waters calms down on the 3 deaths in police lockup within 11 days, we were shocked to hear of another death in police lockup. According to Bernama news report, Nobuhiro Matshushita, 33 years old Japanese was found dead hanging in the USJ 8 lockup cell.

He was arrested on the 2 Jun 2013 for whipping out a knife at the auxiliary policeman after trespassing into a university. The Selangor Police Chief Datuk A. Thaiveegen was quick at coming up with a claim that there is no foul play in the death of Nobuhiro. A point to note is that, on Dharmendran’s death on the 21st May 2013, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department Chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah claimed Dharmendran died due to ‘breathing difficulties’. This claim turned to be false and it came out ugly for the police force after the postmortem report shows that Dharmendran was beaten badly in the lockup.

The Stop State Violence Movement would like to remind the police force not to speculate any information to the public as this could be misleading. In accordance to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), Section 334 clearly states that a Magistrate shall in the case of a death in the custody of the police; hold an inquiry into the cause of death. Please stop speculating and assist for the rule of law to take place.

To be factually right, according to SUARAM’s monitoring, Malaysia has gone international last year itself in custodial death. Miss Tienthong Chaipaniya from Thailand died in Taman Johor Jaya police station on the 7 September 2012. The case goes unseen by the public.

The Subang Jaya police stations seems to be killing ground for suspects. The USJ 8 lockup cells has seen 2 deaths in 2013. Chan Chin Te died this year on 14 January, adding the list will be Nobuhiro. On 20 January 2009, Kugan Ananthan died in Taipan Police Station, Subang Jaya.

Similar to that police stations, the Dang Wangi police station has also seen more blood on their hands last year within a duration of 4 months. Details below:
1. Chandran Perumalu on 10 September 2012
2. Wong Tip Ping on 29 November 2012
3. Nagarajan on 24 December 2012

The Stop State Violence Movement demands an immediate end to these serious human rights violations. The failure to ensure effective mechanisms to hold the Malaysian police accountable highlights a serious lack of political will by the government to take genuine steps to reform the police force in this country. We demand the implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) now.

 
Stop State Violence Movement
1. Tenaganita
2. Lawyers For Liberty
3. SUARAM
4. Malaysians for Beng Hock
5. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
6. Amnesty International Malaysia
7. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Masyarakat (Empower)
8. Malaysia Youth And Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
9. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
10. Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH
11. EMPOWER
12. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
13. KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth
14. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
15. Community Development Centre (CDC)
16. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
17. Persatuan masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
18. Community Action Network (CAN)
19. Serdang Bahru School Alumni Youth Section
20. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & KL (Prihatin)
21. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
22. MALAYSIAN INDIANS PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION (MIPAS)
23. PEOPLE’S WELFARE AND RIGHTS COALITION (POWER)
24. MALAYSIAN INDIANS TRANSFORMATION ACTION TEAM (MITRA)
25. ANGKATAN NASIONAL INDIA MALAYSIA (AGNI)
26. Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
27. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia
28. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
29. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Dharmendran, Another Victim of Police Brutality

 

 

DHARMENDRAN, ANOTHER VICTIM OF POLICE BRUTALITY

 

SUARAM strongly condemns the police for causing the death of N. Dharmendran, on 21/5/2012. Dharmendran, 31, had on or about 11/5/2012 lodged a police report at Pudu Police Station in relation to a fight where he was reportedly alleged to be involved in. Subsequently, the deceased was arrested, detained and was remanded pending police investigation.

 

According to his widow, she was waiting for the deceased to be released on bail on 21/5/2012 but instead, she received a phone call from the police informing her of her husband’s death. It was reported that the post mortem would be conducted by Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s pathologist Dr Siew Sheue Feng who had in the past performed examination on alleged sodomy victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

 

SUARAM is gravely concerned on the injury marks on Dharmendran’s body and demands immediate response to the following:-

 

1.      Why were there staples on the deceased’s ears?;

2.      Who inflicted the bruises all over the deceased body?;

3.      What were the grounds considered by the Magistrate in allowing the police’s application for remand?; and

4.      The status of investigation on Dharmendran at the time of the application for remand and subsequently bail.

 

SUARAM demands IGP Khalid Abu Bakar and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi to take responsibility over the death and announce to the public on when and what actions will be taken against the officers in charge of Dharmendran. SUARAM expects nothing short of transparency and independence of the police and the Home Ministry in this matter.

 

On this note, SUARAM strongly urge the following actions be taken immediately:-

 

 1.      An independent and transparent investigation on the officers in charge of Dharmendran;

 2.      The police to disclose the Daily Journal kept by the officer in charge of Dharmendran during the initial detention and remand period;

 3.      An urgent intervention from the Magistrate who had approved the remand application and further heard the bail application; and

 4.      The Attorney General to initiate proceedings against the officers in charge of Dharmendran.

 

For as long as the police are allowed to commit these hideous criminal offences with impunity, the police are not qualified boast and to make public announcements on the level of safety and security on the streets. In fact, the police should start focussing to improve the safety of suspects under police supervision and custody.

 

The speedy approach taken by the police in arresting peaceful dissenters should be equally, if not more vigorously applied to the officers in this case which had caused the life of Dharmendran. Without an independent mechanism to punish these blood thirsty officers, the public will see more fatalities in police custody, police shooting and spiralling corruption in the police force. SUARAM awaits the response from the IGP and the Home Minister.

 

Released by,

 

Thevarajan

Right to Justice

Memorandum Kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri, Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

 

 

Memorandum Kepada Menteri Dalam Negeri, Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Kami mewakili 31 organisasi Bukan Kerajaan di Malaysia yang terdiri dari Pertubuhan Hak Asasi Manusia, pertubuhan hak pekerja, komuniti masyarakat, kumpulan anak muda dan pelajar memandang serius penahanan bermotifkan politik yang dilakukan oleh pihak PDRM.  Kami menghantar memorandum ini dengan hasrat penahanan berunsur politik dihentikan dengan serta-merta dan hak rakyat berhimpun dan meluahkan pandangan seperti yang terjamin dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dihormati.
Hari ini, 22 May, adalah hari ke-4, Adam Adli Abd Halim berada dalam reman pihak polis di Pusat tahanan Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur. Aktivis muda ini sedang disiasat di bawah Akta Hasutan dan Kanun keseksaan(seksyen 124b)  hanya kerana menyuarakan pendapat untuk sebuah pilihanraya yang adil dan bersih di Malaysia.
Tindakan Polis dan Peguam Negara meminta reman sebanyak 5 hari adalah satu tindakan menghukum anak muda ini dan kami rasa bukan bertujuan untuk menjalankan satu siasatan yang adil. Jika apa yang diluahkan oleh Adam Adli adalah kononnya berunsurkan hasutan, maka rakaman audio dan video cukup untuk membuktikan kes di mahkamah dan tidak perlu untuk satu reman panjang. Namun nampaknya motif polis adalah untuk menghukum dan mengwujudkan suasana takut dikalangan rakyat.
Kami kecewa dengan tindakan polis membuat penahanan ini dan meminta Kementerian Dalam Negeri(KDN) menasihatkan pihak Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) bertindak neutral dan tidak melakukan tugas bermotifkan politik. Isu di mana ADUN Seri Setia Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad di hadapkan ke mahkamah untuk tuduhan di bawah Akta Perhimpunan Aman 2012 turut memberi imej yang sama kepada rakyat.
Penahanan berterusan penganjur perhimpunan aman ini juga menjejaskan imej YAB Perdana menteri yang sebelum ini telah mengatakan beliau melakukan transformasi politik dimana hak rakyat untuk bersuara akan dihormati.
Kerajaan harus menghormati hak bersuara dan  hak berhimpun oleh rakyat secara aman. Hak fundamental ini dijamin di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia. Tindakan menyekat kebebasan berhimpun dan bersuara adalah satu pencabulan hak asasi dan tidak lagi boleh diteima oleh rakyat dalam zaman moden dan bertamadum kini. Adalah juga suatu kenyataan kesemua perhimpunan yang berlangsung selepas PRU baik yang ada kebenaran polis ataupun yang tiada, semuanya berjalan secara aman, teratur dan tanpa sebarang ancaman kepada ketenteramana awam.
Kami organisasi yang menandatangani memorandum ini dengan ini mendesak YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, mengambil langkah yang bijak untuk meredakan kemarahan rakyat dan menghentikan penindasan politik ini dengan serta merta dan menuntut:
 
1. Adam Adli dibebaskan dengan sertamerta dan semua tuduhan keatas beliau digugurkan.
 
2. Hormati hak rakyat berhimpun dan meluahkan perasaan seperti hak yang dijamin dalam Perlembagaan Negara.
 
3. Hentikan sebarang penahanan bermotifkan politik.
Penggunaan undang-undang zalim keatas yang rakyat yang hanya mengamalkan hak-hak demokrasi mereka akan memberi imej buruk kepada PDRM dan Negara amnya. Kerajaan yang memerintah harus menjalankan tanggunjawab secara adil dan saksama dan pihak polis harus dibenarkan menjalankan tanggungjawab mereka secara profesional dan berlandaskan undang-undang.
Di sokong oleh:
1. Malaysian for Beng Hock
2. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
3. Community Development Centre (CDC)
4. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
5. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
6. Pusat KOMAS
7. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
8. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
9. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
10. Community Action Network (CAN)
11. Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
12. National Institute For Electoral Integrity (NIEI)
13. Civil Right Committee KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
14. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement
15. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
16. Legasi Mahasiswa Progresif (MMP)
17. Gabungan Mahasiswa Pantai Timur (GEMPUR)
18. Gabungan Mahasiswa UITM Malaysia (GAMUS)
19. Women section of KLSCAH
20. Persatuan Shing An KL & Selangor Women Section
21. Pertubuhan Pembangunan Wanita Malaysia PJ New Town Branch
22. Gerakan Menuntut Pendidikan Percuma (GMPP)
23. Education and Research Association for Consumers (ERA Consumer) Malaysia
24. Persatuan alumni PBTUSM KL & Selangor
25. Kelab Bangsar Utama
26. Tenaganita
27. Amnesty International Malaysia (AI)
28. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
29. Pemuda Dewan Perhimpunan China KL & Selangor (Pemuda KLSCAH)
30. Jawatankuasa Masyarakat Madani Pusat Pembangunan Kebudayaan Lim Lian Geok (LLG)
31. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor