PETALING JAYA, 6 March 2009: The police should apologise and compensate the family of A Kugan, as well as others who have been beaten by police, the DAP said today.
The party said police have long practiced a culture of “protecting and covering up for one’s colleague”, and demanded that Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar address the situation.
“To date, more than 80 detainees have died in police custody. In the majority of those cases, there was no second post-mortem conducted which might have indicated foul play by the police.
“If Kugan’s family had not insisted on doing the second post-mortem, they would never have known what caused his death,” DAP Serdang Member of Parliament (MP) Teo Nie Ching said in a statement issued by the party’s national publicity bureau today.
She said immediate disciplinary action against the police officers responsible for Kugan’s death should be taken.
So far, the officers have only been reassigned to desk duties. The Attorney-General’s Chambers is to decide whether to press charges by the end of this month.
Other instances of abuse
The party also named mechanic Chan Jiun Har, 23, and his friend Chan Siew Meng, who were allegedly assaulted by Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officers in a protest against the Grand Saga Toll in Bandar Makhota Cheras in May 2008 as the others who deserved apologies and compensation.
DAP said disciplinary action should be taken against police officers involved in the Bandar Makhota Cheras toll protest.
“The punishment will serve as a severe warning to other officers,” Teo said.
Police should also adopt the recommendations the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) made in its separate reports on the “Bloody Sunday” incident and the Bandar Mahkota Cheras incident, DAP added.
The first incident refers to a demonstration against a petrol price hike outside KLCC on 28 May 2006 in which a few participants were bloodied as they were being dispersed by police and the FRU.
The second incident was to protest a barrier erected by the toll concessionaire on an alternative road to prevent motorists from by-passing the toll.
In both reports, Suhakam said excessive force had been used by police personnel.
Police should comply with accepted international standards and guidelines on the use of force by police, and establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to prevent abuse and corruption of the force, Teo said.
She cited both Kugan’s second post-mortem results and the two Suhakam inquiries as a revelation of “deep-rooted and serious problems of abuse of power as well as ‘cover-up’ attempts by the police”.
“There is a huge discrepancy between the first and the second post-mortem report [on Kugan]. The first report stated that Kugan died of fluid in his lungs. The second report detailed over 43 burn marks, bruises and contusions all over his body,” Teo said.
Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar was also criticised for trying to prevent the second post-mortem.
“Initially, he even insisted that Kugan’s family get a court order before carrying out the second post-mortem and later indicated that police will not investigate the case based on the second post-mortem report.
“This demonstrates that the police chief is unwilling and incapable of being in a position to help reform the Malaysian police force,” said Teo.