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Deputy IGP promises action after Suhakam report

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Jan 2009: Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar has promised to take action on members of the force who allegedly used excessive force during an incident in Bandar Mahkota Cheras 1 on 27 May 2008.

He said the police had given full cooperation to the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) in its probe into the incident and instructed all personnel involved in the assignment to give evidence.

“An investigation has been conducted on the personnel said to have used excessive force on Chang Jiun Haur and Chang Siew Meng as recommended by Suhakam,” he said in statement here today.

He said action would be taken on those responsible upon instruction by the Attorney-General’s Chambers but because of conflicting and unclear evidence, the panel of inquiry set up by Suhakam had failed to identify the culprits.

Several days before the incident, he said, the police had managed to control the situation and maintain public order.

“On the night of the incident, scores of vehicles had passed through the police control without any obstacles because all the drivers had complied with the police’s order and drove carefully until the incident where the car driven by Chang Jiun Haur was said to have hit and injured two police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel on duty,” he said.

Ismail said efforts by the police to arrest them had been turned into an issue until finally, Suhakam conducted the public inquiry.

“The police are of the view that the matter would not have happened if the driver followed the police’s order and drove his vehicle carefully,” he said.

Ismail said he agreed with Suhakam’s view that the police would not comment on the issue further because it was being tried in court.

Yesterday, Suhakam released a 41-page report of the public inquiry into the incident. In the report read out by chairperson of the inquiry panel, Commissioner Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman, law enforcement personnel had used excessive force on Chan Jiun Haur and Chan Siew Meng.

“Since it has been found that excessive force had been used on the two individuals, the panel of inquiry strongly recommends that the police conduct their own investigation to ascertain which personnel used the force against the victims,” she said.

The panel also recommended that the police and FRU implement international standards on the use of force and require all their personnel to display their names and badge numbers visibly and clearly during field operations.

Ismail said police and FRU personnel had long been wearing name tags and badge numbers during operations.

On the night of the incident, the name tag and badge number were hidden behind the protective vest but the FRU personnel could still be identified based on the unit and section numbers shown on each shield, he said.

Detectives, meanwhile, do not wear name tags because it would defeat the purpose of their assignment which requires them to collect information in disguise, he added.

Ismail also said the operating procedure adopted by the FRU was consistent with international standards and the country’s law, and the force used in effecting an arrest is proportionate to the situation. — Bernama


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