Categorised | Letters to the Editor

Investigate first autopsy on Kugan

THE results of the second autopsy on A Kugan raise several serious questions, mostly relating to the integrity of the police force and the independence of the pathologist who conducted the initial autopsy. The fact that the results of the second autopsy differ so extensively from that of the first smacks of an apparent attempt to protect members of the police force who were in charge of A Kugan during the period of his detention.

We question the conduct of Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, particularly the intimidatory tactics he adopted. We also question his exposé based on unconfirmed and potentially malicious information of Kugan’s alleged wrongdoings, which are wholly irrelevant to the cause of death. This information, which was released to the public, only serves to divert public attention away from the brutal manner of Kugan’s death in the hands of police officers who are supposed to uphold the rule of law.

The alleged cover-up by Khalid and all those acting in concert would not have been exposed if not for the forceful and dogged determination of Kugan’s family and the activists involved. This merely cements, in the mind of the public, the perception that people must push the boundaries of the law and take matters into their own hands in order to obtain justice.

We call upon the Malaysian Medical Council to launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the professional misconduct of Dr Abdul Karim who had carried out the flawed first autopsy.

We also call upon the authorities to immediately investigate thoroughly the manner of and the circumstances surrounding Kugan’s death. Any further delay will undermine the public’s confidence in our law enforcement agencies in general, and the police in particular.

Protesters accompanying Kugan’s hearse to the burial grounds were demanding for IPCMC to be set up

We reiterate therefore the need for an independent, external oversight mechanism, namely the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), to restore public confidence in the police force.

Although Kugan had been arrested on suspicion of having committed a crime, he was nonetheless entitled to the full protection of the police force pending a proper investigation and any consequential court proceedings. The police force must protect the rights of suspects, and not use the fact that they are apparently guilty as an excuse for any mistreatment.

Those responsible for Kugan’s death must be identified and brought to justice as soon as possible. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Ragunath Kesavan
Malaysian Bar Council
4 March 2009

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6 Responses to “Investigate first autopsy on Kugan”

  1. kip says:

    “Any further delay will undermine the public’s confidence in our law enforcement agencies in general, and the police in particular.”

    No need further delay! They have already undermined the public’s confidence. Who in the right mind would believe the police now? Before this they were corrupt. Now they are brutal gangsters.

    Wow, the police force should get an award for a successful process re-engineering. They really change for the “good” (or the “worst”?) Which is it? Please pray so that the country will not become a failed state.

  2. C. Allson says:

    Dear Editor,

    Kesavan’s remarks are noted again, here: “We also question his exposé based on unconfirmed and potentially malicious information of Kugan’s alleged wrongdoings, which are wholly irrelevant to the cause of death.” Expose? For an expose to happen it requires a willing and a complicit hand.

    It hasn’t just been the police, the hospitals, and the courts (magistrates who routinely and systematically permit lockup detention) but the press, too, is in the act of nailing the weak and the defenseless. The press regurgitates in full without question, without scrutiny, what the police has to say and so publicly legitimatises wrongdoings and throws a red-herring in the process. This press’s ineptitude is not merely a matter of a professional failing here and there. This has been the state of affairs for years.

    The press’s work is as systematic and routine as magistrates and doctors who give what the police want. Always. Note, for example, how the press wrote up the shooting deaths of six men near Kulim. They are “armed robbers”, involved in illicit gold and owning big cars, inferring that all six men are wealthy scum and got what they deserved. The police were simply doing their job.

    The Star (and a few others) still calls Kugan a “suspected car thief” as if this is a permanent condition of a dead man’s CV. A dead man as “suspect”? This is incredulous. God help you if you fall into the arms of the police; they have doctors, magistrates and newspaper editors on their side – without fail. In this country, people disappear, people die in police custody, whole groups are rounded up, individuals are picked up and interrogated, others are threatened if not by courts then by bullets in the mail, and the press makes sure that all this is only in our imagination or that these people had it coming.

    Decent people have reached a point whereby they no longer shake their heads in disbelief or in fear. They want an upside down change.

  3. tengku mohd faizal says:

    Justice delayed is justice denied? Such farce … what happened to the car owner whose car was stolen? No justice for him?

  4. dasugar says:

    The doctor who did the first autopsy should be interrogated to find out if he did it as a favour or out of fear. If the former, he should be barred for life and jailed along with those who murdered Kugan. Real disgrace to the medical community. I wonder how many cases have been covered up like this. This could have happened to anyone.

  5. Yvonne Young says:

    To tengku mohd faizal,

    Kugan has not been brought before any court of law to be tried. Therefore, he is innocent until proven guilty. There was no trial to prove that he has committed the crime. He is merely a suspect as alleged by the police and press.

    Furthermore, the punishment for theft of motor vehicle is imprisonment, not the death sentence.

  6. bayi says:

    Who gave instructions for the first autopsy report? He or she should go to jail.

    Justice for the car owner? Was it proven beyond doubt that Kugan was the thief? If not, he did not deserve this. Even if it was proven, let the law take its course.

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