Can the police investigate itself?

By The Malaysian Insider
July 16, 2011

JULY 16 — Just a week ago, the police took a no-nonsense approach in locking up the city and chasing Bersih 2.0 supporters from gathering and making their way to Stadium Merdeka for a rally calling for free and fair elections.

It resulted in one death, ostensibly from a heart attack, and a hospital clouded in teargas and drenched by water cannons fired by riot police.

The death and the incident at the Tung Shin Hospital are contentious. Putrajaya has ordered a series of probes, one by the Health Ministry and three by the police.

The question is simple. Can the police investigate themselves? And what is the high-level Health Ministry committee investigating?

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government already suffers from a trust deficit, with ever fewer putting their faith in it — especially after its waffling and later reneging on the offer of a stadium for the Bersih rally.

Does it need to further shoot itself in the foot by allowing the police to probe their own actions? Can the Health Ministry panel do a better job than a dedicated team of investigators?

Who can trust the police to do a good job when they were protagonists on July 9, throwing a security cordon around the city and arresting more than 1,600 that day? In contrast, fewer than 50 were arrested in Bersih 1.0 on November 10, 2007.

Who can trust the police when they said they did not tear-gas or use water cannon at the Tung Shin hospital when there are enough eyewitnesses and documentary proof of the incident taking place?

Who can trust the police when there are claims that they ignored the late Baharuddin Ahmad’s pleas to be sent to hospital after he collapsed when arrested in KLCC?

Perhaps the government should trot out its Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (Siap) to probe the complaints against the police. The recently-constituted body is a diluted version of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by a royal panel but ignored by Putrajaya.

There are many options other than getting the police to probe the possible wrongdoings of their colleagues. That is just not done.

And should not be done, as the people want a transparent investigation — not one conducted by those being probed themselves.

The Bersih supporters rallied for clean and fair elections. The least that can be done is to ensure investigations into incidents from that rally are also done the same way and not raise any suspicions.

  1. #1 by Joshua on Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 3:30 pm

    the Police is just good at small and petty crimes like issuing parking tickets etc.

    When it is serious matters like my 30 Police Reports worth RM30 trillions, nothing has happened.

    It is another major waste of public fund to make Malaysia much poorer and in many cases side with the major criminals andsecret societies to rob us.

  2. #2 by aiD_kamikuP on Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 9:34 pm

    The answer to the question is YES.

    It will be about as good and effective as doing one’s own proctological examination by oneself – even with anaesthetics and mirrors.

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