Friday, March 24, 2006

Police undermined PM's decision

Two months ago, PM Ahmad Abdullah Badawi had vowed that his government would set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which is the central plank of the recommendations made by the Royal Police Commission. But according to Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, PM has been effectively undermined by the police, in the clever briefing made by the IGP and his senior staff to UMNO MPs.

The word tossed around to describe the IGP’s method to convince UMNO MPs has been ‘brainwashing’, where those MPs have been ‘persuaded’ not to support but rather rebel against the PM’s decision to establish the IPCMC to control the conduct of the Royal Malaysian Police, whose lack of propriety has already been confirmed by a Royal Commission and several scandalous cases of police abuse.

Those police abuses ranged from Squatgate to Botakgate to foreign wives of Malaysian citizens being illegally detained at police stations in the first place and then made to suffer the humiliation and trauma of being peeped at, leered/ogled at by police personnel, and a Japanese student suffering police extortion, while a single mum saw her daughter’s bum being caressed by a police personnel who apprehended them for no reason other than they had the guts to speak back.

And worse, according to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), there have been 80 custodial deaths between 2000 and 2004 while only eight inquests were carried out. This is truly scary!

Anyone heard of any police personnel being punished since then, except for the bloke who revealed the scandal of the Squatgate abuse?

Uthayakumar of the Police Watch and Human Rights Committee said:
“Monitoring the police force ‘from within’ has not worked all these years and neither has the Public Complaints Bureau, Disciplinary Unit in the police headquarters, Police Services Commission and Suhakam helped.”

Therefore the IPCMC was the only hope. It’s hardly surprising that the Police would object to someone keeping an eye on their nonsense.

The success of the IGP in convincing the UMNO MPs to defy the PM isn’t all that peculiar if you consider that Malaysian Police has had a successful history of psy-war and mind-turning indoctrination techniques, where far more resilient and dedicated communist terrorists were successfully turned around to act on police instructions, so how difficult it would be with a bunch of self-serving politicians.

Lim Kit Siang said that if a vote was to be taken among UMNO MPs on the issue of the IPCMC, the PM would lose. Lim said therefore this is the crunch test for the PM. If he fails to set up the IPCMC, he would effectively lose the fight for the soul of his premiership. He would no longer have any credibility.

Even outspoken Shahrir Samad, Barisan Nasional BackBenchers Club chairman and one of the few UMNO MPs I have some respect for, has been distancing himself from his previous open support for the formation of the IPCMC. He is thus no longer any different from the majority of BN and UMNO MPs who too had earlier not objected to the establishment of IPCMC, in fact for the past 26 months.

But all changed after the police briefing for BN MPs 10 days ago.

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