I find it rather disturbing that nowadays the powers-that-be will act on issues only after widespread public hue and cry. A case in point is the recent decision by the Attorney-General to reclassify the death of police detainee A. Kugan as murder and calling for the arrests of the policemen responsible.
Kugan, 22, was detained for questioning on January 15 in connection with several luxury car theft cases. He died on Tuesday while in custody at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya, allegedly due to assault. His family had become extremely suspicious of the numerous unexplained injuries found on his body. A second post-mortem autopsy on the deceased will be conducted today, three days after the family had called off his funeral.
Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar had caused a stir earlier when he said that Kugan, who did not have any past criminal record, died due to 'fluids in the lungs'. He also claimed that there was no foul play involved.
The integrity, accountability and transparency of the Royal Malaysian Police and the AG's office in issuing statements, just to create an atmosphere to subdue public outcry, are now seriously in question. It will surely take more than a simple PR exercise for the police and the AG to regain the respect and trust of the rakyat. I believe there have been some 1535 deaths in police custody between 2003 and 2007. An alarming number indeed. A truly Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) does really seem to be very relevant now.
Here's wishing a hearty Gong Xi Fa Cai to all my Chinese friends.