With third police custody death in 11 days, police should stop gallivanting with UMNO/BN fairy tales but get down to business to roll back the wave of crime and fear of crime

Even before the settling down of the public furore over the death of N. Dhamendran, who according to a preliminary post-mortem report was defencelessly beaten to death while handcuffed sustaining 52 marks of injury throughout his body, ranging from head to toe, the country has been shocked with the news of a third death under police custody in eleven days.

P. Karuna Nithi was found unconscious by policemen on duty at the Tampin police lock-up at around 6.30 p.m. Saturday and pronounced dead by paramedics from the Tampin hospital who arrived on the scene.

With the third police custody death in 11 days, the police should stop gallivanting with Umno/BN fair tales like the fictitious DAP-funded “Red Bean Army” of 2,000 to 3,000 cybertroopers with a budget ranging from RM100 million to RM1 billion in the past six years, but to get down to business to focus all resources to roll back the wave of crime and fear of crime and restore public confidence by checking police indiscipline and ending cases of deaths under police custody.

The public has no confidence in any internal police investigation into deaths in police custody, even if it is a special committee headed by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, and this is why the time has come to revive the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) proposed by eight years ago by the Police Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin and former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar and established under the premiership of Tun Abdullah.

The Dzaiddin RCI recommended the IPCMC to ensure an effective external oversight body to ensure police compliance with doctrines, laws, rules and procedures as history of police systems world-wide have shown that internal mechanisms alone are inadequate, unreliable and frequently ineffective.

In recommending the IPCMC, the RCI report said:

“Police culture is often inward-looking and closed and mindsets are usually resistant to change. Changes in leadership can also lead to changes in commitment to service excellence, discipline and performance.

“Society cannot therefore rely on internal mechanisms alone to ensure PDRM effectively implements and abides by rules and regulations.

“The establishment of an external oversight body for PDRM would be a profoundly important development in the governance of this important organization.

“It will mark a quantum step forward in enhancing accountability and help restore and sustain the confidence of the people and the private sector in PDRM.”

The country has wasted eight years in failing to implement the IPCMC proposal of the Dzaiddin RCI as the substitute Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) have proved to be a complete failure in achieving the role of a “quantum step in enhancing accountability and help restore and sustain the confidence of the people and the private sector in PDRM”.

The Pakatan Rakyat leadership council which will meet in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow will discuss whether Pakatan Rakyat MPs should press for the establishment of IPCMC when the 13th Parliament opens on June 24.

Pakatan Rakyat has 89 MPs in the 13th Parliament. Is it possible to secure the support of at least 23 BN MPs to support the establishment of the IPCMC?

MIC has called for the establishment of IPCMC. Is this the official stand of the MIC and the four MIC MPs? If so, is it possible to get another 19 BN MPs to support the passage of an IPCMC Bill in the 13th Parliament?

This will be worth consideration by the PR Leadership Council tomorrow.

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 2nd June 2013