Jeswan Kaur | Free Malaysia Today
The cry for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct
Commission is long overdue and yet the Home Ministry feigns ignorance
each time police brutality makes the news.
This country desperately needs to get rid of cops who in fact are
thugs at work, abusing the rakyat at their whims and fancies. The
episode where a Bersih 3.0 participant was whacked for voluntarily
confessing that he had participated in the April 28 protest has brought
irrevocable shame and damage to the force .
Mohd Safuan Mamat, 24, a Bersih supporter turned up at the Dangi
Wangi police station on May 14 to give a statement concerning his
involvement in Bersih 3.0. Instead, he ended up fearing for dear life
when the cops there turned violent when Mohd Safuan refused to
“colloborate” with the cops that he had smashed a police car during the
The manner in which Mohd Safuan was treated by the police is
worrying. After giving his statement, he was taken to the lock-up behind
the station, handcuffed and detained for the night.
When he refused to be party to a lie, he was allegedly beaten up, first by the cops, and then by the prisoners.
It seems that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has no intention of
serving and protecting the rakyat in the right sense of the word. This
is contrary to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments that
the police would only turn aggressive if provoked.
And what does the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar has to say
about the “we can whack anyone we want” modus operandi adopted by the
On May 14, Ismail said the resolution passed by the Bar Council in an
extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on May 11 was prejudiced and had
punished the police force.
He said the Bar Council had to be more transparent in making
conclusion on the Bersih 3.0 rally held in Kuala Lumpur on April 28.
But then looking at the far from impressive track record of the PDRM
and the beating meted out to a Bersih 3.0 participant, what prejudice is
Ismail talking about?
The cry for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct
Commission (IPCMC) is long overdue and yet the Home Ministry feigns
ignorance each time police brutality makes the news.
For how long will Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein delude himself that the country’s police force is one to be reckoned with?
Despite the police having the rakyat’s blood on their hands, the
federal government is not perturbed and seems to be “supporting” the
PDRM in not “sparing the rod”. Is this the hallmark of a democratic
nation, where its people have no recourse to their fundamental rights?
Cannot bully rakyat
It is becoming a fashion with the PDRM to bully those who dare challenge authority in the pursuit of truth.
Take, for instance, the May 10 nuisance created by an NGO called
Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) when it set up
a stall outside Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga’s house to protest the
April 28 Bersih rally.
Ikhlas claimed the rally affected their livelihood, making a rather
far-fetched allegation that burger stall owners had suffered losses
amounting to RM200,000 due to the rally, concentrated in certain parts
of the federal capital.
To Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, that is
hardly any reason for Ambiga to get upset. His defence has added to the
shame the PDRM has earned for itself.
Khalid had said it was not wrong to sit in front of anyone’s house
provided they did not disturb the occupants of the dwelling. He added
that there was nothing wrong with protesting outside a person’s house as
long as the occupants are not disturbed.
“What offence? If you want to sit in front of her [Ambiga’s] house without disrupting other people, there is no offence.
“As long as they don’t commit any offence such as trespassing on private property, we will not take action,” Khalid had said.
Then came a bunch of 15 ill-mannered and rowdy men, believed to be
retired army veterans, who staged vulgar aerobics by showing their
bottoms – protesting the April 28 rally – in front of Ambiga’s house.
They also chanted “Hidup Polis dan Hidup BN” and dared her to sue them, or else they would return in bigger numbers.
The group of veterans then resorted to performing a strange form of aerobics by showing their bottoms.
While the police were present near Ambiga’s house, they decided to
play by-standers, displaying their illiterateness over laws that being
PDRM needs ‘cleansing’
Looks like it is not only the electoral system that needs a shake-up.
The PDRM, too, badly requires a “cleansing”, inside out. The
high-handedness of the police has to end and should the Home Ministry
refute or show no interest in doing so, it would be in the best interest
of the rakyat to decide the next best move.
As the situation stands, there is little hope the people can place in
the Home Ministry in doing what is right. The May 9 announcement by
Hishammuddin that a six-man panel headed by former Inspector-General of
Police Hanif Omar will investigate allegations of police violence during
the Bersih 3.0 rally is far from assuring.
To electoral reform activist Bersih, the panel is powerless and lacks regulations that will allow it to serve its purpose.
Over and above that, putting Hanif in charge has confirmed suspicions
that the panel is a gimmick by the ruling Barisan Nasional government
to win the people’s confidence in view of the looming 13th general
Bersih 2.0 steering committee has a very valid reason to “question”
Hanif’s appointment. Hanif had previously issued statements that were
biased against Bersih rally protesters.
“He has claimed that communist sympathisers who were active
demonstrators in the 1970s were involved in the Bersih 3.0 assembly and
utilised tactics learnt from past pro-communist demonstrations.
“He has also agreed with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s allegation that Bersih 3.0 was an attempt to topple the government.
“By so doing he has shown that he is biased and has already
pre-judged the outcome of the investigation,” the steering committee had
Still, does the Najib-administration care? Obviously not. Having
fooled the rakyat for over five decades, the BN thinks it can once again
pull a fast one and appear a “hero” in the eyes of the people.
Hopefully, post-2008, the rakyat is more discerning in separating the wheat from the chaff.