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Foo Sze Kuan case – major setback to Pak Lah’s anti-corruption campaign in the Police Force


Media  Statement

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Saturday): The inaugural National Integrity Day on November 5 came and went making  absolutely no impact or impression whatsoever on the Malaysian public or the battle against corruption.

This was followed by the campaign among policeman to wear button badges with the words Saya anti-rasuah (I’m against graft), which runs the risk of being dismissed as a meaningless gimmick or even a joke by the public  if there is no political will and highest-level support to wipe out corruption in the police.

In fact, many are asking whether the police anti-corruption button-wearing exercise is the only outcome after more than six months of the police study of the Police Royal Commission Report recommending an agenda of  “zero tolerance for corruption” for the police!

As the Police Royal Commission Report pointed out, “ACA’s report on corruption in government agencies between 1999 and 2003 found PDRM as the most corrupt. It had more than triple the number of corruption cases during the period compared with the next most corrupt government agency, the Town Councils.” (p.117)

Even more important than individual cases of corruption is the problem of systemic corruption in the police force.  Ten of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Commission are about eradicating police corruption, such as:

  • Make eradicating police corruption one of the three PDRM reform priorities
  • Adopt a proactive anti-corruption strategy
  • Implement regular job rotations and tenure limitation.

It is both shocking and outrageous that after more than six months of police study of the Police Royal Commission Report, the only public measure is the button-wearing campaign – which is a meaningless exercise unless it is one small step of a larger and  more comprehensive anti-corruption strategy for the police force. 

At present, the police button-wearing exercise appears to be a stand-alone initiative, and if so, it is condemned to end up as  a dismal failure. Is the Police able to table a report in Parliament before the debate on its 2006 budget estimates  at the end of the month setting out its anti-corruption programme as a result of the Police Royal Commission Report?

It is sad that before the police has taken any substantive measure to inspire public confidence about its seriousness to combat corruption in the police ranks, there is already  a major setback of  public support and confidence in the battle against police corruption.

This is the outrageous case of a policeman instituting legal proceedings  against a 17-year-old Seremban  salesgirl, Foo Sze Kuan,  who lodged a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency in June last year alleging that she was harassed by a policeman and had to pay a bribe of RM300 at a roadblock for motor-cyclists.

The ACA charged the policeman in March this year but the accused  was acquitted on technical grounds on 11th October 2005.

Foo now finds herself a target of further harassment and victimisation as the acquitted policeman had  instituted legal proceedings against her  and is  demanding damages.

Who would dare to lodge reports with the ACA against the police or any offending government servant, if it is going to end up with the complainant being hauled to court in interminable legal proceedings and required to pay hefty damages?


If the accused  wants to institute any legal proceedings, it should file action against the ACA as it is the anti-corruption agency which must be held responsible for the investigation resulting in prosecution, or even the Attorney-General whose Chambers decided on the prosecution. 


There should be a clear-cut rule that no legal proceedings should be instituted against any bona fide complainant against public officers for corruption, or public support and co-operation in the fight against corruption will simply dry up for fear of personal repercussions.


The Foo Sze Kuan case is major setback to Pak Lah’s anti-corruption campaign in the Police Force and a test-case as to whether the Prime Minister is prepared to get the whole anti-corruption campaign back on track  before it fizzles out into mere rhetorics.

For years the government has been talking about enacting a Whistle-Blowers Protection law to give protection to those who give information about corruption in the public service, like in this case Foo Sze Kuan, but nothing has come out of the proposal so far , raising questions about the government’s seriousness and sincerity in eradicating corruption.

All NGOs, organizations and individuals, including the Institute Integrity Malaysia,  serious and concerned about the absence of any campaign or  momentum to fight corruption in the public service, whether police or otherwise, should give support to  Foo Sze Kuan , so that  her victimization  would not strike fear into all future informants,     undermining  and negating  all  anti-corruption campaigns in future.

The Parliamentary Human Rights Caucus takes a serious view of the gross violation of Foo Sze Kuan’s human rights and is prepared to hold a special meeting on the matter.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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