I blogged on this two years ago when I mentioned: Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, the Chief Judge of Malaya, has expressed her deep concerns that 80 deaths in police custody occurred between January 2000 and December 2004 – that’s an average of 20 people dying per annum while in police custody, or almost a frightening 2 per month for 4 continuous years - but only 6 inquests, less than 10% of the deaths, were even held.
The Chief Judge has been troubled that in some instances, deaths occurred hours after detention. As an example, mechanic Alias Othman was detained at 10 pm on March 22 allegedly for causing a disturbance at a mosque in Bachok, Kelantan, but just a mere 5 hours later, he was very very dead.
Siti Norma wants answers why so many people had died under such circumstances. She demanded to know why police had seen it fit to decide that inquests were unnecessary in 22 cases of such deaths. ...
In fact, the Criminal Procedure Code specifically makes it mandatory to have inquests into deaths under police custody. Yet the IGP has not addressed this unacceptable omission, a violation of the Criminal Procedure Code. The IGP must be held responsible and accountable for his failure.
Two years later we have a similar tragedy, the murder of A Kugan while in police custody.
In the midst of alleged police criminal act, with no less than the Attorney-General, Gani Patail classifying Kugan's death as murder, Malaysiakini reported in its Syed Hamid: Don't see criminals as heroes, cops as demons that the Home Minister had alluded to Kugan as a criminal.
Yes, Syed Hamid had the brazen cheek to contrast the late (murdered) Kugan as a criminal against the police (accused of causing his death) as heroes. And trust the Home Minister not to understand that a man is innocent until proven guilty.
De facto Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang was humongously incensed (and we share with him his outrage) at the shameless mindless insensible police minister in attempting to ameliorate the terrible circumstances leading to a death in police custody, which the normally recalcitrant AG had even been moved to officially classify as a murder.
In Malaysiakini Something wrong about Syed Hamid Lim blasted the Minister:
"Malaysians, like people all over the world, do not regard criminals as heroes and the police as demons." "But when a minister responsible for the police makes a shocking statement of this nature, it reflects that something has gone very wrong both with the police force and the home minister with regard to the most basic of government duties – to keep the people safe and to uphold law and order."
Then Lim said what I told a sweetie last night: "Even if Kugan was guilty of the crimes alleged, the police cannot take the law into its own hands and continue to pile up the shocking statistics of deaths in police custody."
Remember poor Francis Udayappan whom I blogged in Was Udayappan Beheaded After His Death? some two years ago?
A grief-stricken mum
He too died in police custody (notwithstanding police excuse that he had died while escaping). On April 2008 I also blogged on Secret executions in Malaysia? where I commented:
… though I agree with the deputy IGP that technically there had been no secret executions, there were nonetheless killings in police custody. What had occurred with some very very unfortunate people, particularly Indians, had been the suspected (maybe unintended but nonetheless terrible) manslaughter or even murder of several whilst they were brutalized in police custody.
And these horrendous alleged police killings are publicly known to be a frightening 80 people in a period of just over four years. The RMP interrogators have a notoriety of beating up suspects severely and brutally, leading to a couple of deaths. That’s police draconian f*ups which would then be allegedly covered up by the police and their professional associates.
However these deaths in police custody are openly known and have been alleged by many as acts of police murders, which are yet to be satisfactorily resolved. We most certainly need the IPCMC, but please, not a watered down version. Malaysiakini has reported on this issue several times over.
Well, Malaysia Insider reported in A mother shares Kugan family grief that Francis Udayappan’s mum, Sara Lily George attended Kugan’s funeral. Francis Udayappan was only 23 when he died in police custody, whilst Ananthan Kugan was just a mere 22. For Sara, it has been the most painful déjà vu to see yet another young man needlessly and criminally murdered in the Most Dangerous Place in Malaysia.