PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today maintained that the police lock-up it had said was in “deplorable” condition is in fact still operating.
It was responding to Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed who had rubbished Suhakam’s report on the matter, claiming its information was “outdated”.
Nur Jazlan had told news portal Malaysiakini that the Ayer Molek lock-up in Johor Bahru was closed on July 27 last year and its operations moved to Simpang Renggam, which was a newer prison.
This appeared to contradict a statement by Suhakam, in which its chairman Razali Ismail said a visit had been made to the Ayer Molek lock-up on July 31 this year.
In another statement today, Razali acknowledged that the Ayer Molek Prison had been closed and moved to Ulu Choh, Pulai, as pointed out by Nur Jazlan.However, he said the Ayer Molek police lock-up was still operating in a part of the former prison building.
“Suhakam visited that lock-up on July 31, 2017, which is in deplorable condition,” he said.
In his earlier statement, Razali had said the lock-up conditions were so poor that they amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
All the cells were in extremely poor condition, and there was also a shortage of clean lock-up clothes and bedding, he said.
Detainees also complained about the quantity and quality of food provided, and alleged that they were deprived of drinking water.