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Cabinet on Wednesday should give priority to establishment of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission as recommended by Police Royal Commission six months ago following recent  spate of police abuses and scandal


Media  Statement (1)

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Saturday): The press today quoted Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan giving  official confirmation that the uniformed woman captured on a cellular phone video ordering a naked female Chinese national to do ear squats has been identified as a police personnel  from the Petaling Jaya police district headquarters  and that the incident occurred at the headquarters.

Musa said police had recorded her  statement and he had directed a no cover-up investigation into the incident.


The question uppermost in the minds of concerned Malaysians is why 36 hours after the storm in Parliament following MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok’s showing  of the country’s Abu Ghraib videoclip in Parliament, there is  still no announcement of any firm and purposive action by the police to deal with the latest police scandal, such as immediate suspension of the policewoman identified in the video.


Why is the Police taking so long to act. Why the thunderous silence from the  Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar, whose police career is threatening to end in a scandal like another predecessor of his, Tan Sri Rahim Noor?  Is another police cover-up in the works?


These doubts and concerns are fortified when it is now known that the police had information about the Abu Ghraib videoclip very much earlier, at least as early as last Saturday – which means it had more than one week to act and  yet it had done nothing.


The Star today reported MCA head of Public Services and Complaints Department, Michael Chong, as claiming that he had received the Abu Ghraib video clip via MMS last Saturday, and that he had shown the clip to the Selangor Chief Police Officer, Deputy Comm Datuk Yahya Udin and “discussed what action should be taken”.


If what Michael Chong revealed is right, then the Selangor CPO might be  guilty of a gross dereliction of duty.  Was he trying to cover-up the scandalous police Abu  Ghraib incident?  But let us give Yahya Udin a chance to defend himself.

New Straits Times today reported  that the police have begun investigations into the origin of the police Abu Ghraib  video clip, including the 23-year-old Goh Hwee Liang, a reporter from China Press, for about an hour yesterday.  Other journalists expected to be grilled by the police are the China Press newspaper editor and its Seremban branch correspondent to obtain more leads.

I want to make the point that calls for the lodging of police reports and police investigations should not become a refined form of police harrassment. Why is the Police spending so much time investigating how the press got the videoclip, instead of the facts of the Abu Ghraib scandal in the police force?

In any event, there is no need for the police to waste so much time on this score, when all they need to do is to interrogate Michael Chong and the Selangor CPO who had the videoclip even before the China Press.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has commendably spoken out from Malta, hitting out at  the police Abu Ghraib scandal as having “shamed” the country and dealt “a blow to the country’s image and pledged a thorough investigation” with no “cover-up” whatsoever.


He said he had called Deputy IGP Musa and instructed him to thoroughly and immediately investigate the matter.


I find it significant that the Prime Minister had contacted the Deputy IGP and not phoned up the Inspector-General of Police.


The IGP should explain why he is  out of the picture in the police Abu Ghraib scandal, as if he had washed his hands  completely.  


It is also a matter of concern that no top police officer, whether IGP, Deputy IGP or Selangor CPO, had condemned the gross police abuses of power portrayed by the Abu Ghraib videoclip, unlike the clear condemnation made by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and MPs. 


The Malaysian public are also entitled to know why the Police as a whole seem so indifferent and detached in a police scandal which had rocked the country and has such far-reaching consequences to the country’s tourism, trade, economy as well as the country’s international standing, particular the Malaysia-China relationship.


The police Abu Ghraib video scandal should bring to the fore once again the recommendations of the Police Royal Commission, particularly Recommendation Twelve to “Establish independent oversight mechanism” in the form of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).- the most important of its   125 recommendations.


The Cabinet on Wednesday should give priority to the establishment of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission as recommended by Police Royal Commission six months ago following recent   spate of police abuses and scandal.


If the IPCMC had been established, it would have been the proper body to investigate into the police Abu Ghraib scandal.


We cannot run away from the fact that there is little public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the police to investigate into the criminal activities involving the police, as in the police Abu Ghraib scandal.

The Police Royal Commission is right when it made the strong recommendation on the urgent and indispensable need to set up an external oversight body as  internal police mechanisms alone are inadequate, unreliable and frequently ineffective.



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

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