The Royal Commission on Police should consider the setting up of a permanent Independent Police Ombudsman

Media Statement
by MKula Segaran

(Ipoh, Friday): Yesterday, the Royal Commission on the Police Service held their inquiry at the Casuarina Hotel, Ipoh. The panel members were Tun Momamad Hanif Omar, Dato Muhamad Rais Abdul Karim, Dato Kamilia bte Ibrahim and Dato Seri Lim Ah Lek.

The inquiry was to be between 9 to 5pm only. It was reported earlier that when the Commission had inquiries in other states the response was very
poor. Contrary to this not only the response from the people in Perak was overwhelming, the inquiry went on until about 8 in the evening. In fact many
complainants left without presenting their matters as the queue was just too long.

Although we registered our presence at 9am, we were immediately notified by the Commission secretary to come back at 3pm as there were many others whose matter has not been disposed off. We promptly came back at 3pm and after waiting for more then 3 hours we were called in to present our matter.

Our complaints were mainly the failure on the police to complete investigation on cases reported to them and thus a necessity to set up a Police Ombudsman.

In one case on 17thJuly02 some security guards at the Bukit Merah lake Resort had assaulted one K.Elangovan. K.Elangovan had written numerous
letters to the police to ascertain the action taken but there was no response from the police. At the inquiry he gave his version of the incident and requested the Commission to insist that the police do take action as against the security guards. In another case one V.Bavani lodged a report
against a thug who attempted to steal her belongings while on her way home on 1stJanuary04. In connection therewith the police detain her car .Miss
V.Bavani of Buntong then lodged a police report against the police who 1) refused to hand over her car after 3 days of the incident 2) that on the day
she lodged her report she was asked to return home at 2.30am without even providing an alternative transport 3) no acknowledgment was given by the police who took her hand phone, cash of RM250.00 and hand beg. I also brought to the attention of the Commission that on 10/11/0 2one C/Insp
Gurcharan Singh from the special Branch Ipoh advised a victim of the police not to seek help from the DAP. No action has been taken against this
policeman although a formal police report was lodged on 4/12/02.

We have received many complaints like the above. In many cases the police refuse and or  are deliberately slow in taking disciplinary action against
their fellow officers.

Thus we suggested the formation of an independent Commission on the Police like the Police Ombudsman as found in many other commonwealth countries. This Ombudsman could receive suggestions and or complaints for it to act. Thus an independent body could go a long way in restoring confidence of the public in the police. We also suggested that the number of policeman need to be increased as presently the ratio of 1:3255(Pasir Pinji) is vastly different as compared to say London 1:285. Professionalism and appropriate salary for the police need to be looked into. Finally we suggested that due to overwhelming response from the people the Commission should conduct another public hearing in Ipoh. Also the Commission should conduct inquiries i) in northern and southern Perak ii) conduct inquiries after office hours and or at weekends for the convenience of the public. The Commission Chairman Tun Haniff said the commission will consider and take action.


* M. Kula Segaran,  DAP Acting Secretary General & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Barat