Sunday, January 25, 2009

Murder he said

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.


  1. Dear Capt.

    You are right. It will take more than PR exercise now for the police, AG, Home Ministry and in general the whole government to re-gain the respect and trust of the rakyat.

    It will be difficult for the current administration to govern the country.
    It is in deep kimchi right now. And the normal reaction under such circumstance is to turn the screw and flay out at every thing and anything. Just look at Syed Hamid. He even threaten deputy Ministers.

    I don't think the IPCMC is even enough.

  2. Capt,

    Many such deaths had occurred before but the victims' families were not as aggressive as Kugan's, thus real story never surfaced. They had to stomach whatever the police told them. But since Anwar's case, we now know that not only the police couldn't be believed, hospital report too could be falsified and by non other than top brass in the AG and PDRM depts. And from Lingam episode we learn (not just suspect) that ACA (I can't remember its new name - not worth remembering any way) too couldn't be trusted. So it is a very long long way for these bodies to restore public confidence or perception.

    Frm: keep on hoping

  3. dear am: i jest left a comment at rocky's where I ended with a greAting and bestA wishes to awe Bloggers "of whatever HUE&CRY", then minutes later I'm rading your first para ---"...widespread public hue and cry..."
    Are you stealing my thoughts or VICE verse? Desi, knottierDANusualatCNYwit'PUERHdear


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