Malaysiakini reported the death of a 22 year old Kugan Ananthan, while in police custody at Subang Jaya police station for alleged involvement in an international car theft. He had been in custody for 5 days and was proclaimed dead on 20 January 2009. Kugan’s death is believed to have been caused by serious abuse by unknown person(s) which the police have yet to identify.
Photos of the deceased revealed (http://www.bmahendran.com) that there is a positive indication of abuse and brutality on the victim which calls to question, the high probability of police direct involvement in the case. The civil society’s perception is that there can be nobody else except the police to have cause the ultimate death of Kugan, and for however serious his offence may be, he does not deserve to die under such circumstances.
Earlier, there was another report of abuse on one Prabakaran, who was poured hot water on him causing severe bleaching of the body. The incident happened at Brickfields police station while he too was under detention. The incident is now being investigated, only after it was reported in the media resulting in 7 police officers being charged. It will be interesting to see how this case will be handled, and who among the 7 police officers will be persecuted……… or will all of them be released.
Police brutality in not new in this country. It has been going on for years, and I too bore witness to the death of a Malay soldier in police custody in Perlis many years ago. There was certainly signs of physical abuse on the body of the deceased soldier, but the parents being simple kampong folks, had accepted that their son was destined to die in that manner, and it being Allah wishes. The person(s) who had caused the soldier to die may have all retired from the force, but their guilt, I am sure will haunt them on earth and into their graves. And if they are Muslims, they fully well know that there is no hiding during judgment day, where they have no lawyers to defend them for their misdeeds and crimes committed on earth.
I have many friends in the police force and they certainly are the good ones and god fearing. Some had admitted to me how they despise the ‘activities’ of some of their colleagues whom they say had tarnished the good name of the police profession. It is not surprising that some of the ‘activities’ are carried out by the lower ranks, are in cohort with the superiors.
The above incidences of police abuse and brutality is a cause of great concern; not only to the civil society but more so to the Inspector General of Police, and the police force in general. There is already a lack of public trust and confidence in the police force over the happenings in the last two years or so, which has indirectly affected the government’s popularity as well. And to make matters worse, statements made by the Ministry of Internal Security on any piece of criticism from the public of the police force, has been one of denial.
We members of the civil society is deeply concern at the outrageous act of abuse and brutality perpetrated by officers of police force on arrestees. It appears that justice for all offenders is no longer the domain of the civil courts, but is at the whims and fancy of police officers. If this perception is not corrected, then the country might as well dispense with the civil courts and all its judges.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 16.45pm on Jan 22, 2009