Wednesday, June 26, 2013

231 cases of death in custody from 2000 until May 2013 - 97 Malays, 49 Chinese, 51 Indians.

The government say that 196 of these deaths caused by illness and diseases - Let us look at the national statistics of people dying of  these same illness and diseases and compare with the statistics in the police lock-ups. If the numbers dying in the police lock-ups is higher, then something is very wrong.
29 hung themselves - what with the CCTV and other detainees in the cell, and of course the police personnel guarding the lock-ups. This is laughable.
2 slipped, fell and died - I wonder how many Malaysians in other places slipped, fell and died???
I certainly doubt the cause of deaths of these people in police custody...
Zahid: Only two custodial death caused by cops

  • Ram Anand
  • 11:27AM Jun 26, 2013
PARLIAMENT Only two cases of custodial deaths were caused injuries inflicted by police personnel, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Responding to a question by Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani) during question time, the minister said there were 231 cases of custodial deaths from 2000 until May this year, but most were due to natural causes.

“One hundred and ninety six of these deaths were caused by diseases and illnesses. Twenty nine were because the individuals hung themselves. Two were because of fights among detainees. Another two slipped and fell in the lock-up. Only two resulted from injuries caused by police,” he said.

“One hundred and ninety six died from illnesses. Are you going to say that is police brutality, too?”

The minister added that there is a perception that one minority ethnic group are the most common death in custody victim, but this was not true and the perception must be corrected. 

He said that of the 231 people who died in polic custody, 97 were Malays, 49 were Chinese while 51 were Indians.

IPCMC overlaps with other laws

Meanwhile, the minister also stated that the government established the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) in 2009 in response to the proposal to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The IPCMC was mooted in 2005 by a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) in 2005 to improve the performance of the police force.

Zahid said that the IPCMC could not be established because of its “contradictions” with laws governing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Extra Territorial Offences Act 1976 and also Section 127a of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“The EAIC was the answer to the RCI’s recommendations. Only that the EAIC has wider scope for all government agencies,” he said.

“The IPCMC also was supposed to investigate police misconduct which took place before the IPCMC was set up. That contravenes the constitution." - Malaysiakini, 26/6/2013, Zahid: Only two custodial death caused by cops

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No room for violent conduct (The Sun Daily)

No room for violent conduct

THIS writer was one of the many who was in one way or another connected with the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the Royal Malaysian Police Force. 

Having written extensively on the forgery of the minutes of the Selangor Executive Council on matters related to the housing project in Taman Mentrai, inaction by the police compelled the residents to take the matter to the commission where, among others, I met three members who were personally known to me – Tun Hanif Omar, Datuk Kadir Jasin and Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.

I never participated or gave evidence because I was personally unhappy that the police were being singled out despite abuse and misuse of power by various other law enforcement agencies. 

The police, I had then reasoned, were being sought out because they enforced the Penal Code which meant that crime was their forte while those who enforce other enactments were not being included.

Instead of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), I had proposed the setting up of an ombudsman to hear complaints against not only members of the police force, but also officers of the Customs Department, immigration officers, health officers and every other civil servant who was tasked with enforcement.

As usual, my proposal found its way into the wastepaper basket and so did the recommendations of the RCI that the IPCMC be set up. Then, I was also of the opinion that the IPCMC cannot prevent or reduce deaths in custody. And this stance has not changed since.

That was seven years ago and a lot of water has flown under the bridge. And so has the number of people dying in custody. The outcry for justice for the victims has reached consequential proportions and judging from what has been said and done, the voice of anger is getting louder and louder.

The government can no longer quell these voices which want the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to be brought to book. This is because deaths in custody are no longer isolated.

Human Rights lawyer Charles Hector says that merely on data provided by the government, there has been an increase in custodial deaths over the years. He says: "There have been 150 deaths from 1990 until 2004 (10.7 deaths a year), 108 deaths between 2000 and 2006 (18), and, 85 deaths between 2003 and 2007 (21.25), 153 deaths between 1999 and 2008 (17), and 147 deaths between 2000 and 2009 (16.3).

He says: "There has been an increase in the number of deaths in custody until 2007, and the numbers seem to be dropping but it certainly is still higher than the 1990-2007 period."

These are startling figures which ought to jolt the powers-that-be to move into gear to reverse this shocking state of affairs. Perhaps, policies of the past have allowed those involved to get away, at the most, with a slap on the wrist.

There must be zero-tolerance against violent conduct, not only by the police, but also all gazetted officers who are entrusted with enforcing the law.

Having said that, whoever is entrusted with this task should not just confine himself or herself to just death or physical harm but other shortcomings. 

It should encompass a host of other areas to include dereliction of duties, being biased, mistreating the public and even causing unnecessary delay in providing documents or information as provided in the law.

Let us not confine ourselves to looking at mere violence and ignore the other forms of inadequacies within the system which cause unnecessary problems for the rakyat.

People have not even got acknowledgements for their letters and requests, let alone decent replies. Would this not amount to indiscipline? In the private sector, they would have been censured for their inaction.

The list is endless but if we want our administrative system to be first class, then don't single out just one arm – the police – but include everyone who has dealings with the public.

R. Nadeswaran resumes his campaign for an ombudsman to look into the shortcomings of the administrative system. Comments: - the SunDaily, 18/6/2013, No room for violent conduct

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Charles Hector represented MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) at the 5th World Congress Against the Death Penalty. Our shame was that Malaysia was still amongst the few retentionist countries. It is our home that come the next World Congress, Malaysia would have abolished the death penalty.

Over the past years, there have been positive indications that Malaysia may soon abolish the Death Penalty, especially with regard to drug offences. Malaysia should not follow Singapore, where the power has been vested in the Public Prosecutor to issue certificates of cooperation that would translate in persons not being sentenced to death. That power should really be vested with JUDGES not the prosecutors. Malaysia, I believe would do better and totally abolish the death penalty for drug traffickers...

A first step also would be needed to remove all MANDATORY Death Penalties in law, giving judges discretion in sentencing. A discretion that would be exercised looking at the circumstances of each and every case.

A second step, would be to remove the provisions that shift the burden to the accused - it should always be the duty of the prosecution to prove all elements of the alleged crime beyond reasonable doubt. 

A third thing that is needed in Malaysia are Acts setting out procedures for clemency hearings/applications - the absence is problematic. What is the procedure? What should be the considerations of the Pardon Board or the Sultan/King?


June 13, 2013: Hundreds of civil society, political figures and journalists from five continents gathered in Madrid to push for the universal abolition of the death penalty during the World 5th Congress against the Death Penalty.

In a message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the growing momentum against capital punishment, while voicing concern that a small number of States continue to impose the death penalty, often in violation of international standards.

Mr. Ban noted that the full abolition of the death penalty has support in every region and across legal systems, traditions, customs and religious backgrounds.

Currently, more than 150 States have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it. Last year, 174 United Nations Member States were “execution-free,” he said.

“Despite these positive trends, I am deeply concerned that a small number of States continue to impose the death penalty, and thousands of individuals are executed each year, often in violation of international standards,” said the Secretary-General.

“Some countries with a longstanding de facto moratorium have recently resumed executions,” he noted. 

Also, the death penalty is at times used for offences that do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes,” such as drug crimes, and a few States impose capital punishment against juvenile offenders, in violation of international human rights law.

Mr. Ban also pointed out that information concerning the application of the death penalty is often cloaked in secrecy, and that the lack of data on the number of executions or the number of individuals on death row “seriously impedes” any informed national debate that may lead to abolition.

“The taking of life is too absolute and irreversible for one human being to inflict on another, even when backed by a legal process. Too often, multiple layers of judicial oversight still fail to reverse wrongful death penalty convictions for years and even decades,” he said.

This problem, he added, will be discussed at a UN panel in New York at the end of this month.

The UN General Assembly first voted on a moratorium in 2007, and again in December 2012, when it adopted a resolution calling for a progressive restriction on the use of capital punishment and eliminating it entirely for felons below the age of 18 and pregnant women.

Although not legally binding, the UN moratorium on executions carries moral and political weight.

During the opening ceremony, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said his country is at the forefront and is committed to the abolition of death penalty. In a plenary session Burkhalter said Switzerland seeks to have those countries which have not as yet abolished the death penalty at least place a moratorium on its use.

“It is a priority in Switzerland, we need to take a pragmatic approach and ensure a world without death penalty,” he said.

Burkhalter said capital punishment was incompatible with the values represented by Switzerland and had an impact on the country’s other obligations such as the prohibition of discrimination.

Together with Spain, France and Norway, Switzerland is patron of the 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty which is hosting around 1,500 delegates from over 90 states in Madrid until Saturday (June 15).

According to Norway which is represented at the Congress by the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Gry Larsen it will support multi stakeholder’s initiatives like the work of the International Commission on Death Penalty, International Bars Associations and Universities.

“It has taken the political leadership to abolish the death penalty and in almost all of the countries the public have been against when we have taken the decisions in our countries to the vote but what we have seen in our countries is that when we have used the political leadership the public have followed. We don’t wait for the people we have to lead,” she said.

Hands Off Cain was present at the conference with Senator Marco Perduca.

For further information :

Monday, June 17, 2013

Proham: Caning as violation of human rights

Proham: Caning as violation of human rights

PROHAM is deeply concerned over a first group of syariah offenders which included twenty-two women among the 39 who received six strokes of the cane in closed quarters of the Kluang prison in Johor .
We are further alarmed that the  Johor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIJ) is actually debating for canning to be carried out in public or in mosques.
We respectfully understand that these punishments are in line with the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment, however PROHAM is of the view that it is time for Malaysia to review these laws including the Criminal Penal Code that allow for corporal punishment.
We do not support corporal punishment for both men and women irrespective of their faith. Furthermore Muslim women suffer an added discrimination as women of other faiths do not have to suffer this form of cruel punishment.    
Although corporal punishments were common forms of punishment in medieval society regardless of their religious faiths, such punishments are now regarded as cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment. Canning a man or a woman for any offence is archaic and inconsistent with a compassionate and just society.

Malaysia as a member of to the Human Rights Council should be inspired to uphold universal human rights principles and Proham calls on the Malaysian Government to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
PROHAM also urges the Government to immediately review and abolish all forms of punishment involving caning and proceed to comply with international human rights norms and principles on punishment.
Issued on behalf of PROHAM by Ms Ivy Josiah (Proham member), Datuk Kuthbul Zaman (Proham Exco) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Proham Secretary General)
June 17, 2013

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) Calls for Immediate Implementation of IPCMC

Inline image 1

Media Statement For Immediate Release
 Gabungan Bertindak  Malaysia (GBM) Calls for Immediate Implementation of IPCMC
4 June, 2013

These days Malaysians go to bed with the shocking news of a custodial death only to wake the next morning to learn of another death in police custody. The custodians of law and order must take full responsibility for these custodial deaths.

From January 14 to June 1, 2013, eight custodial deaths have been reported. According to the chief of the police force these are apparently "unfortunate". Referring to the latest death in IPD Tampin, the IGP Khalid Abu Bakar had reportedly said in a text-message to The Malay Mail, “It's just unfortunate that he died in our lock-up."

In this connection, the Minister of Home Affairs had earlier said that he had to be careful about taking action against the police in order to ensure that it would not have any demoralising effect on the police force.

GBM regards both these statements as unbecoming of leaders who are duty bound to protect the people of this country and condemn them for being insensitive and indifferent towards the preservation of precious lives.

GBM notes with utter disgust that the wanton cruelty of the police personnel towards their victims has been so prominent all these years that a Royal Commission had to be set up in 2005 which among others concluded that deaths in the lock-ups are "a serious cause for concern".

The Royal Commission produced 125 recommendations to clean up the police force, the most important  being the setting up of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Almost eight years have passed, but the government has not shown any inclination to establish the IPCMC, which, in the opinion of GBM, legitimises the police force to continue with its wayward ways.

GBM, an alliance of 25 NGOs, fervently believes that this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue and calls upon the government to undertake the following actions without any further delays or excuses:

(1) To implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry immediately. There should be no overt or covert attempts to weaken the authority or terms of reference of the IPCMC.
(2) To undertake speedily all the other recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Inquiry. A schedule of implementation of the recommendations should be prepared by the Government for adoption by Parliament. 
(3) To appoint the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)  as recommended by an independent Selection Board consisting of a representative from the Home Ministry, retired judges, retired senior police officers, SUHAKAM commissioners, representatives of the Bar Council and other civil society organizations. If the recommendation is not accepted by the Home Minister, it should be automatically referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for hearing and decision making.
(4) To decentralize the Police Force from its present centralized authority, and to move the Federal Constitution provision relating to the police from the Federal List to the Concurrent List. At present, the police is exclusively emplaced within the Federal jurisdiction. This has led to the politicization of the police. The greatest benefit from decentralizing the police is that it allows local public feedback to be better incorporated into police work. This tie-up will ensure more effective crime prevention, and will definitely have a positive impact on police work.
(5) To take immediate action to arrest and charge all police personnel involved in the latest series of custodial deaths. Only through a swift and transparent judicial process will it enable the police force to clear its name!

Issued by the Executive Council of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia

Note: GBM comprises of the following 25 civil society organisation members:

1)  Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) 吉隆坡暨雪兰莪中华大会堂
2)  Aliran 国民醒觉运动
3)  Tamil Foundation 淡米尔基金会
4)  Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM) 马来西亚回教革新理事会
5)  Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha; Krisitian; Hindu; Sikh dan Tao (MPMA-BKHST) 马来西亚五大宗教理事会
6)  Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH) 森美兰中华大会堂
7)  Penang Chinese Town Hall (PGCTH) 槟城华人大会堂
8)  The Federation of Chinese Associations Johore State (FCAJ) 柔佛中华总会
9)  Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre (LLG) 林连玉基金
10) United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM) 马来西亚华校校友会联合会总会
11) Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) 穆斯林专业论坛
12) Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) 人民之声
13) Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS) 社区传播中心
14) Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) 马来西亚之子
15) Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas) 雪隆社区协会
16) National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT) 全国印裔权益行动组织
17) Peoples Green Coalition (PGC) 马来西亚人民绿色联盟
18) Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS) 砂拉越青年之子
19) All Womens Action Society (AWAM) 妇女行动协会
20) Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust) 沙巴社区伙伴信托组织
21) Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (Liu-Hua) 马来西亚留华同学会
22) Nanyang University Alumni Malaya (Nanda) 马来亚南大校友会
23) Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (JAGAM) 马来西亚留日同学会
24) Gabungan Persatuan Alumni Universiti Taiwan Malaysia (GPAUTM) 马来西亚留台校友会联合总会
25) Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) 回教复兴前线组织


Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia(GBM)
Plan of Action for Malaysia  (PoAM)
c/o The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) GBM Secretariat
Phone: 03 2272 3594/012 320 6959    Fax:03 2272 4089

Monday, June 03, 2013

P Karuna Nithi(42) Death-in-custody - 1 June 2013(Saturday)

azlanP Karuna Nithi, a 42-year-old former engineer, was the latest death-in-custody victim who died in a lock-up in Tampin on Saturday.

This follows the death of N Dhamendran, 32, who died at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters on May 21, and the death of R Ramesh Jamesh, 40, who died at the Penang police headquarters on May 26.- Malaysiakini, 3/6/2013, Don't practise double standards, Waytha tells police