Integrity body grilled for failing to curb custodial deaths

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Source: The Malaysian Insider

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) commissioner Leong May Chan speaks during a forum on police brutality at the Straits Trading Building in Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, May 30, 2015.

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) commissioner Leong May Chan speaks during a forum on police brutality at the Straits Trading Building in Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, May 30, 2015.

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) commissioner Leong May Chan found herself in the hot seat when many of those attending a forum on police accountability today hit out at the oversight body’s purported ineffectiveness in curbing custodial deaths.

Leong, who was part of a six-member panel at the forum, was questioned on EAIC’s effectiveness and its roles and powers by lawyers and members of the public.

Although she maintained her composure, the commissioner was at times caught unawares when questions were fired at her over how many complaints against the police were investigated and referred to the Attorney-General.

One attendee, who said he was an independent journalist, asked Leong why only some 100 out of more than 400 reports lodged against various enforcement agencies last year were investigated.

However, Leong directed the question to EAIC head of investigations Razif who said: “When we talk about investigations, it means a full investigation. Out of 1,190 complaints, almost 60% were rejected or referred to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) or local councils.”

Panel member Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, secretary-general of Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham), then asked Razif to reveal how many of those complaints lodged were against the police.

“I don’t have the percentage. You can check on the website… I don’t have it but it is almost 90% (of the complaints),” the EAIC man replied.

A shocked Denison then asked how many of these reports lodged against the police were investigated and flayed the EAIC duo for not preparing their statistics beforehand.

“I think we need to clarify this. Out of that 90% cases against the police, how many were investigated? This is really confusing. I find it unacceptable that you come to the forum without the figures,” he said.

– Leong and Denison were speaking at the Forum on Rogue Cops: Workable Solutions – Police Accountability in Malaysia, a collaboration between the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) and Bar Council Malaysia via its Task Force on IPCMC, which took place on 30 May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.