STATEMENT: Punitive versus facilitative police action




Last week a number of people were shown being bundled off in police vans. All handcuffed. Later remanded in police lockups. And subsequently, charged in court. Facing potential punishment of fines and even imprisonment.

Even earlier, I am sure many were startled to see the police leading an accused down a court stairway. Shirt ruffled, hands behind his back, shackled. He will be tried soon, the narrative said.

These are not some high criminals. They are ordinary members of the public who were found outside their abodes during this Covid-stricken stay-home lockdown. Ostensibly, for violating measures and laws.

Charges can be laid under section 269 of the Penal Code for the offence of committing a negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life. The offence carries a six-month jail term and/or fine upon conviction. As well as under rule 3(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, which carries a RM1,000 fine or six-month jail term. Read more

No signs of abuse, but cops accused of negligence in Thanabalan’s death

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Thanabalan Subramaniam, 38, was arrested late last month outside a school in Kapar, died in custody 20 days later. His family was told that he died of a heart attack. Image from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The post-mortem on Thanabalan Subramaniam, who died in police custody, could not confirm the cause of death but there were no signs that he was subject to any physical abuse, says incumbent Kapar MP G Manivannan.

Speaking to FMT, Manivannan said tissue and blood samples had been taken for further analysis to determine the cause of death.

Yesterday, Selangor police said they suspected that the centralised lock-up where the 38-year-old Thanabalan was being held had been contaminated by an infection.

“However, I believe there is an element of medical negligence on the part of the police as they should have ensured that Thanabalan received medical attention quickly,” Manivannan said.

Thanabalan, who was allegedly detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, died at Hospital Shah Alam on Tuesday after being rushed there from the Shah Alam police headquarters where he had been held for some 20 days.

His death led to questions by civil society groups on the police’s commitment to putting an end to custodial deaths. Read more

Police want ‘screening’ at lock-up, hospital after custodial death

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Police have requested a “screening” at Hospital Shah Alam and the Shah Alam police headquarters following the death of driving instructor Thanabalan Subramaniam in police custody last night.

Selangor Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Fadzil Ahmat said the screening would be conducted by the hospital as police suspected the centralised lock-up was contaminated by an infection.

He did not reject the possibility of Thanabalan, who was allegedly detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or Sosma, having fallen victim to the infection.

“However, the cause of the death will be determined by an autopsy, which will be done today,” he said when contacted by FMT. Read more

Man allegedly nabbed under Sosma dies in police custody

Thanabalan Subramaniam, 38, was arrested late last month outside a school in Kapar, died in custody 20 days later. His family was told that he died of a heart attack. Image from FMT News.

SHAH ALAM: A 38-year-old man from Kapar who was arrested by the police 20 days ago has died in custody.

According to family members, driving instructor Thanabalan Subramaniam was arrested in front of SJK (C) Soo Jin on March 29, while sending one of his children to school.

Last night, his family received a phone call from the police informing them that Thanabalan had passed away after a heart attack.

Speaking to FMT at the Shah Alam Hospital, family members claimed police told them that Thanabalan was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma.

“We could not see him after he was arrested, supposedly because he was detained under Sosma,” said one family member. Read more

Renewed calls for IPCMC after failure to stop custodial deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Civil society groups have renewed calls for the government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), calling the current Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) an organisation without “bite”.

In a public forum organised by the Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC today and in collaboration with several other human rights groups at the Bar Council’s new headquarters near Dataran Merdeka, they insisted that the EAIC had failed to stop deaths in custody.

Other participants included representatives from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), National Human Rights Society (Hakam), the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham), and Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT). Read more

MACC can still investigate Bukit Aman CID chief, forum told

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission can still investigate a person for corruption even if that person has been cleared by police of wrongdoing.

A public forum on police accountability in Kuala Lumpur, co-organised by the Bar Council, was told Bukit Aman’s criminal investigation department chief Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd could still be investigated under MACC Act 2009, which allows for Malaysians to be charged for corruption offences committed abroad.

Lawyer M. Visvanathan, founder of Eliminating Deaths and Abuse In Custody (Edict) corrected Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Mah Weng Kwai who said during the Q&A session that Malaysia had neither extra territorial jurisdiction nor an extradition treaty with Australia which meant that the alleged wrongdoer was “quite safe” from the law at home.

The MACC Act 2009 provides for extra-territorial jurisdiction to deal with corruption offences committed outside Malaysia by its citizens and permanent residents as though the offences were committed in Malaysia. Read more

Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia Forum

Taken from Facebook

Bar Council Malaysia is renewing its call to the Malaysian Government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, as was recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005.

The Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC in collaboration with SUHAKAM, SUARAM, HAKAM and PROHAM, is holding a public forum entitled “Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia”. The purpose of this forum is to look into the cases involving police shooting, and deaths in police custody, in Malaysia; the measures taken – or lack thereof – by the Enforcement Agency Intergrity Commission (“EAIC”) in addressing the situation; and the resulting need to set up an IPCMC.


2.30 PM- Registration

3.00 PM- Welcoming Remarks by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman B Bukhari Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

3.15 PM- Opening Remarks by YBhg Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman, SUHAKAM

3.30 PM- Keynote address by Roger Chan Weng Keng, Secretary, Malaysian Bar

3.45 PM- Slide Presentation by Sivaraj Retinasekharan, Member, Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC;

4.15 PM- Panel Discussion

5.45 PM- Closing Remarks by Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam, Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

*Light refreshments will be served during the registration

List of panellists

1. Dato’ Dr. Profesor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Deputy President, National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
2. Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
3. Ivy Josiah, Secretary-General, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
4. Commisioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
5. M. Visvanathan, Founder, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse In Custody (EDICT)

Moderator : Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam

Lawyers renew call for special commission on police misconduct

Source: Free Malaysia Today 

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers and rights activists have again called for a special commission to address police misconduct, in the wake of the confirmation that police were to blame for the death in custody of S Balamurugan last year.

They said that only an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) can address the issue.

Lawyer M Visvanathan said no suspects should die in lock-ups during an investigation, as they are innocent until proven guilty in court.

Read more

Custodial deaths: Enforcement needed, not just recommendations — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today


The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) might not have the “teeth” to prosecute those who have abused detainees or who caused the deaths of those in custody. However, despite its lack of prosecution powers, the EAIC has done some excellent work in recommending actions to be taken against police officials who have abused their power and those who have engaged in serious misconduct.

Whether the government will act on the recommendations to check or discipline members of the police force guilty of abusing power remains to be seen. However, if the past is any indication of what is to come, the government might have little political interest in disciplining members of the police force.

Given this situation, the setting up of an Independent Police Conduct and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) cannot be delayed any further. The EAIC needs to be complemented by an agency that has independent powers of prosecution.

Read more

Coroner: Cops careless, diabetic man in lockup could live if treated

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Police lock up – file pic taken from The Star

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The police had acted negligently and had failed to ensure immediate medical treatment that could have saved a diabetic man from dying in 2015 after just around three days in the Dang Wangi lockup, a coroner ruled today.

Coroner Mohd Zulbahrin Zainuddin noted that R. Thangaraja’s family had testified that he had suffered from diabetes since the age of 21 and had required insulin injections twice a day to avoid feeling dizzy, and that he had in the past been brought to the hospital over his condition.

“Although the cause of death is associated with heart attack and diabetes, it is this court’s finding that the deceased’s life could have been saved if early treatment was given to him while he was in detention, even more so when there were signs of him being ill.

“The failure to give early treatment to the deceased is linked to the carelessness of the lockup management that failed to provide the attention and consideration due to the deceased who was proven to have suffered from health problems since he was first detained in the Dang Wangi lockup,” said Mohd Zulbahrin, who is also a Sessions Court judge. Read more