Call on Home Minister and IGP to ensure that the two teenagers in Klang police custody are not subjected to police abuse or torture

I am very concerned about the continued remand to two teenage boys in Klang, who were detained along with death in custody victim S. Balamurugam. Especially whether they are being physically abused while in police custody and detention.

Their lawyer Mishant Thiruchelvam said the two 16-year-had been “beaten up and detained in an adult lock-up” instead of being kept in a separate facility.

Balamurugan, 44, was arrested on Feb 6 when he was found in the same car with two other men, one of whom was wanted by the police.

He died in police custody at the North Klang district police headquarters on Feb 8.

One of the teenagers was arrested along with the deceased in Bukit Rajah, while the other was arrested subsequently in Banting.

After they were brought to the North Klang police station, remand was granted for four days. On Feb 11, the police applied for three more days of remand, which was granted.

On Feb 14, the remand for the boys expired, so they were taken to the Banting police station to process a new arrest, following which they were granted two more days of remand until Feb 17.”

On Feb 17 the two boys were brought to the Telok Datuk court for further remand, but the magistrate, Marsilawati Mohd Shah, denied the request after seeing his clients “were severely injured”.

However, the duo were rearrested upon emerging from the court and taken to South Klang police headquarters where they were remanded until Feb 21.

Another Klang magistrate granted the police four days remand instead of the applied two days although the boys lawyers did not know why.

In view of Balamuguram’s latest case of death in police custoday, with a second post-mortem report from the Kuala Lumpur Hosptial confirming that Balamuguram had died from “multiple blunt force injuries” which are clearly visible from his corpse , I call on the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to ensure that the two 16-year-old teenagers are not abused and physically tortured while in police custody.

There there has been a spate of complaints against police brutality and violence.

I call on the Cabinet to support and give priority to my private member’s bill to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to restore public confidence in the police by ending police corruption, misconduct and abuses of power – as the IPCMC should have been established 10 years ago if it had not been sabotaged by police officers.

The IPCMC was the most important recommendation of the Police Royal Commission set up by the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the first flush of his premiership to transform a Malaysia with “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” into an advanced nation in all dimensions, especially good governance and government accountability and transparency.

We seemed to have regressed to the period more than a decade ago before the establishment of the Police Royal Commission headed by the former Chief Justice, Tun Dzaiddin with former Inspector General of Police Tan Haniff Omar as Deputy Chairman when public confidence in the police was at an all-time low, with widespread complaints about police corruption, brutalities and indiscipline resulting in many deaths in police lock-ups.

On Tuesday, I was at the Klang office of the DAP MP for Klang, Charles Santiago, together with the DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua in connection with half a dozen of cases of police brutalities and abuses power – including:

  • the case of the police custodial death of Balamurugan Suppiah where the second post-mortem report from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital confirmed that he died from “multiple blunt force injuries” which are clearly visible from his corpse – why the police personnel responsible for Balamurugan’s death had not been suspended and charged in court?;
  • 16-year-old Mikail Quay who was beaten by police at a roadblock in Shah Alam in the early hours of Sunday, resulting in a cracked skull with injuries to his face, nose and cheek bones and is in hospital in a critical condition;
  • Ang Kian Kok, 16, who was hanged upside down during police custody and whacked; and
  • 14-year-old Elaamaran a/l Paramasivan and another 14-year-old kicked, punched and shoes thrown at them while under police custody.

These are horror stories of police abuses of power, brutality and even custodial death in Klang!

They would not have happened if the IPCMC had been established as proposed by the Police Royal Commission ten years ago, as the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) which was formed instead is a toothless agency with neither powers, staffing nor funds to be an effective check on police misconduct and abuses of power.

The Police Royal Commission had warned that its recommendations will fail to secure desired results “if the leadership in PDRM does not rise to the challenges and champions change in the service for its own benefit”.

It said: “Effective change management starts from the top. The role of leadership at all levels is absolutely vital in a command organization like PDRM. Leaders are role models. They should be incorruptible and take ownership of programmes to eradicate corruption in PDRM.”

It is tragic that the Police high command ten years ago failed this important leadership test and succeeded in sabotaging and ensuring that the IPCMC was not established.

As a result, we are now back to square one, where public confidence in police is again at an all-time low with impunity for gross police misconduct and indiscipline – like police custodial deaths, police brutalities and the police openly defying the orders of magistrates to release detainees.

I have given notice to Parliament to move a private member’s bill to establish IPCMC when Parliament reconvenes for a month from March 6 to April 6.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet should support and give priority to my private member’s bill to establish the IPCMC to restore public confidence in the police by ending police misconduct and abuses of power.

In fact, the IPCMC itself can be established after the March/April meeting of Dewan Rakyat and the April meeting of Dewan Negara as I have also sent to Parliament the IPCMC bill which was drafted by the Police Royal Commission and which was included in the Report of the Royal Police Commission Report – a 49-page, 104-section Bill with two schedules.

This means that if the Cabinet supports the IPCMC private member’s bill giving it priority to be voted – as Malaysians will be thoroughly shocked if there are MPs who are opposed to the IPCMC Bill which had been drafted by Police Royal Commission ten years ago – Parliament can proceed to debate and vote on the second reading of the IPCMC Bill without any delay, as the IPCMC Bill had been ready ten years ago!

This means that the IPCMC can be established as early as May 2017 – 11 years after it was recommended by the Police Royal Commission but better late than never!

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