Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There is presently in the US an on-going criminal investigation into the harsh questioning of detainees during former President George Bush’s war on terror. We all have seen the horrors of Abu Gharib prison camp in Iraq and the inhumane interrogation techniques used by the US forces in Guantanamo detention facility. Most of those who have suffered the torture are mostly innocent, and their only crime was because they were Iraqis.

There is also a book authored by Philippe Sands titled “Torture Team – Uncovering War Crimes in the Land of the Free” that investigates into the people that prompted the use of unauthorized interrogation techniques on detainees in both Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, which apparently lead to top notch personalities having link to the White House and the Pentagon, notably the former Defence Secretary Donald Rumfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Both were said to be highly instrumental in devising and authorising new interrogation techniques on all suspected Al-Qaeda detainees.

There is no denying too that even former President Bush have had some knowledge of the cruelty and torture meted by the US prison officers upon the detainees, and including the people who are directly implicated in the authorization of such inhumane interrogation techniques. Wasn’t he the person to have recognised that members of the Al-Qaeda should not to be accorded prisoners of war (POW) status under the Geneva Convention? In other words, members of Al-Qaeda are deemed stateless people, and hence the Geneva Convention does not apply to them after the infamous September 11 attack on the USA.

What had taken place in Abu Gharib and Guantananmo reminds us of what might have taken place during the ‘interrogation’ of ‘detained’ Teoh Beng Hock by MACC officers, that subsequently lead to his death. I am not implying that the MACC is the cause of the death, but there has to be the element of unbearable pressure (physical or otherwise) exerted on him that may have cause his death. It is not easy for one to take his own life, for no obvious reason.

I am not quite sure if MACC have any documents or manuals that specifically outlines the procedures and methods of interrogation? I suppose there is such a document or manual and if there isn’t, then MACC will have a lot answering to do when the Royal Commission of Inquiry convenes later.

In the case of the US forces, Field Manual (FM) 34-52 that provides the procedures for interrogation of POW have been totally discarded for detainees under former President Bush dictum of ‘War on Terror’, that eventually resulted in the horrendous torture methods witnessed in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo.

Now, this takes me to question whether the Malaysian Armed Forces that runs a prison facility in Batu Cantonment Camp in Kuala Lumpur have a similar manual governing interrogation and question techniques of imprisoned soldiers. And if they don’t, they have better devise one quickly.

While in the service, I had excess to soldiers who had served their term in military prison, and they confess that they had gone through some physical manhandling by the prison guards. I am not aware of any death of soldiers while in custody in military prison, unlike what we hear of death in custody in police prison. In this instant, I think it is certainly much safer to be in a military prison then a police prison.

Since death while in police custody has occurred several time before, and now an inquest into a death while in MACC’s custody is currently being heard, it will not be wrong for me to assume that there is something seriously wrong with the questioning or interrogation techniques used by our police and the MACC on detainees. It is therefore in the interest of all peace loving citizens of this country to know what actually caused the detainees to die while in custody. And unless and until the citizens of this country knows the truth, public trust in both the police and MACC will remain at its lowest.



FMZam said...

The content of the anonymous letter has been dismissed as expected without hesitation or shall I say WITH HASTE? Afterall it's only a flying letter this government could throw it into the dustbin as quick as it had appeared, no problem with that. And so would any more flying or anonymous letters.

Sorry to say lah, the MACC, the PDRM and any more of these kinds, they don't take Abu Gharib as a lesson for the learning. No, I am sorry to say that they take Abu Gharib as EXAMPLE!

MACC and PDRM are this government's PERSECUTION MACHINES!

Someone advised me last night, forget about fighting corruption, everyone in this country is using powers to enrich themselves for their rainy days. Corruption is working from top down, if the topmost doesn't take it, the second downline will take. Corruption is still working the same way and as old as prostitution.

komando said...

Why have we to trust them anymore, they have proven themselves to be not professional and we need not say anything further.

Major (Rtd) D.Swami said...

There was a case where one Sapper Dalbir Singh died in the commando detention centre, he was in there for drug related offences in the seventies or early eighties. I attended my B3 Engineers course with him in Kluang. He was the the Corp hockey player for the Engineers. He was originally from Seremban and his dad was a Headmaster of a school. He did die under suspicious circumsatnces. I believe his father did ask for an inquiry. The results as usual I beleieve was sudden death. I have seen how detainees are treated in Sg Udang, during my courses there. I have seen a whole bunch of guys brutalised for stealing our stuff, we put a stop to that. Anyway Malaysians are such a bunch of sanctimonious sons of bitches, when they condemn "ABU GHARIB AND GUANTANAMO" when in their own backyard they have Kamunting and the so many deaths in custody. They are covered up big time. We are not even at war!!

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Maj Swami,

Thanks for the info, of which I have no earlier knowledge. If indeed Sapper Dalbir died in military custody, then we have murderers in our midst.

FMZam said...

All the GOOD things we talk here about this BAD and UGLY government - corruption, abuse of power, police brutality, death in custody, religious issues and politics, are going nowhere. The more we talk, the more the situation is getting from bad to worse, day by day.

Nowadays this government does nothing else than struggling to keep afloat in politic because of the many issues that have made this government well occupied in politicking instead of administering the country until this government has lost its sense of good governance.

This country is going into anarchy, and anarchy is that one situation well loved to be used by both, the corrupt government in the moment of desperation to cling to power, and the opposition in the moment of aggression to clinch power. Both spells a certain catastrophe to this country.

All those things we talked in here and many other things the people talk in daily routine life, are not going to stop as long as this government refused to arrest those matters and address them satisfactorily. So far has this government managed to address even one single issue satisfactorily? All it did was to keep it "impaled" in the political "killing fields" to serve a grim reminder to the people that this government is the real king of this country.

The wave of dissent is growing and picking momentum everytime the government is so slow in arresting a simple problem. The dissident groups are getting ever popular that makes this government activating not only its political machinery, but also making use of its administrative tools to workout for its political survival.

The Vision 2020 that Mahathir had embedded in the concrete will sink into oblivion and will go down with him into his grave, for good.

God save this country.