Death in custody: More than 10 policemen under investigation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows a mock-up of a Smart lockup on display at the Royal Malaysian Police booth during the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference at PWTC. ― Malay Mail pic

File picture shows a mock-up of a Smart lockup on display at the Royal Malaysian Police booth during the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference at PWTC. ― Malay Mail pic

KLANG, Feb 10 — More than 10 policemen at the North Klang district police headquarters are under investigation over the death of a man in police custody last Tuesday.

North Klang police chief ACP Mohd Yusoff Mamat said however, none of the policemen had been suspended as investigations were ongoing.

He said claims by certain quarters that there were bruises and injuries on the body of S. Balamurugan, 44, should not arise until the autopsy report was released from the hospital.

“We are waiting for the results of the autopsy which is expected to be out next week,” he told reporters after a meeting with Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai here today.

Yesterday, Balamurugan’s family lodged a police report over his death and requested a thorough investigation to identify the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Mah said Suhakam was gathering information from the police to identify any violation of standard operating procedures which might have caused Balamurugan’s death. — Bernama

Custodial death: Suhakam says early checks show cops violated lockup rules

Source: The Malay Mail Online

HAKAM comment: Action is needed to monitor and stem such disregard of rights and violations which continue with impunity. Does the recent string of custodial deaths not warrant a revisit of the call to establish an IPCMC – Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission?

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said a four-man team from the human rights commission had visited the site where a 44-year-old detainee had died under questionable circumstances in a North Klang police lockup. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Officers at the North Klang police headquarters had shown a disregard for due process and lockup rules, a team from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) found in its preliminary investigation into the custodial death of S. Bala Murugan.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said today a four-man team led by Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai that had visited the site where the 44-year-old detainee had died last week under questionable circumstances.

“Suhakam notes that the deceased was detained in a place which is not a gazetted place of lock up, and an application for extension of remand to the Magistrate by the police was rejected.

“Suhakam’s preliminary observations indicate due process violations, and disregard for lock up rules,” he said in a statement.

He added that Bala remained in custody even after the magistrate ordered for his immediate release and as such died while under police care.

However, Razali noted that the police have denied any wrongdoing on their part and the post-mortem report is not yet available. Read more

Recognise our efforts by letting us report freely, journalists tell minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Media practitioners welcomed today a federal minister’s proposal for a National Journalists’ Day to celebrate their profession, but said it should not deviate from the fundamental constraints they face in carrying out their job daily.

The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) said that it “cautiously welcomed” the idea mooted by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak yesterday.

“While recognition for the work that journalists do and the role of the Fourth Estate is welcomed, IoJ stresses that such celebrations should not distract from fundamental issues concerning media freedom,” it said in a statement.

It pointed out that Malaysia still ranks only 146th in the World Press Freedom Index, and that journalists still face threats of criminal action by authorities, including the use of Sedition Act, in their line of work. Read more

MACC records statements from Ampang PKR Youth chief over his alleged extraordinary wealth

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 10, 2015.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 10, 2015.

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 10 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has taken statements from Ampang PKR Youth chief Datuk Adam Rosly over allegations of the extraordinary wealth he owned.

Adam, 28, who was the focus of the allegation, arrived at the MACC headquarters here at 8.15am in a Toyota Vellfire.

He was also seen carrying several documents when entering the building.

Speaking to reporters after the four-hour interview, Adam said various questions were raised including about his sources of income.

“I was not interrogated, the MACC officer merely interviewed me and asked about my sources of income and I thanked them as they were conducting their duties professionally,” he said.

Prior to this, various reports and questions were raised over the extraordinary wealth amassed by of Adam, which include several luxury cars and a bungalow worth millions in Ampang, after joining the PKR, which administers Selangor.

Following that, Ampang Umno head Datuk Ismail Kijo lodged a report with MACC. — Bernama

Diversifying perspectives in understanding religion — Mohd Izzuddin Ramli

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY MOHD IZZUDDIN RAMLI

opinion-clipart-gg60666501FEBRUARY 10 — For most people, religion is the fundamental element in human life. It is perceived in many ways by the believers, either as an identity marker or something that is sacred and embraced as the pillars that they hold onto in their lives. Unsurprisingly, religion particularly Islam has increasingly become a hot topic in Malaysia. It is especially so when Islamisation creeps into every stratum of society.

Religion that is perceived as something personal is gradually becoming social and, worse, a state matter. But what is also worrying is that Islam as is practised in Malaysia is governed by religious institutions that have a monopoly over the interpretation of the religion. In other words, aspects of Islam receive singular, as opposed to diverse, interpretations prescribed by the state institutions. The inclination to be exclusive and monolithic is ostensible not only in intra-religious relations but also in inter-religious relations.

Sunni and Shia conflict that has been going on for decades in countries like Syria, Pakistan and Bahrain, has also reached the shores of Malaysia albeit the intensity of the split is not as high as we can visually perceive in those countries. Yet, we can still see the clash between the conservative and the progressive with all the erroneous labels such as Jews, liberal, Illuminati, traditional and so on that are thrown at each other.

There are such cases that can be seen at the inter-religious level. The relations between Muslims and Christians experiences a setback by cases such as the removal of the cross from a church that happened in Taman Medan, Selangor in 2015 as well as the use of loudspeakers for azan by Muslim. Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) has once again stirred up controversy by asserting that Malays should not wish Christians “Merry Christmas” and celebrate together with them. Read more

Inquest a must when death takes place in lock-up, says lawyer

Pic from FMT News

Pic from FMT News

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An inquiry must be held before a coroner as the death of S Bala Murugan took place when he was under police custody, a lawyer said.

M Visvanathan said Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code was clear that an inquest must be held whenever a person dies while under police custody, in a mental home or in prison.

“It is expressly provided in law and pursuant to a court practice directive that a senior Sessions Court judge must lead the inquiry,” he said.

Visvanathan said this in response to reports that police would only conduct investigations into the death of Bala but were silent about asking the court to hold an inquest.

“The police could not merely investigate the death in a lock-up and ignore the need for an inquest,” he said, adding that the officer-in-charge at the police station where the person had died must report the case to the nearest court.

Read more

Sarawak will defend native customary land rights

Source: FMT News

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg - Pic taken from FMT News

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg – Pic taken from FMT News

LUNDU: Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has given his assurance that the state government will continue to defend native customary rights (NCR) land.

He said this when reading the Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto for the Tanjong Datu state by-election at its launch here today.

At a media conference later, Abang Johari, who replaced the late Adenan Satem as the new chief minister 28 days ago, said the state government would study in depth the land issues related to pemakai menoa (territorial domain) and pulau galau (communal forest reserve).

Asked to comment on Ba’kelalan state assemblyman Baru Bian’s statement that the Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau Committee should also comprise representatives of NGOs, Abang Johari said he was open to views on the issue.

Read more

Family seeks justice over custodial death

Source: Malay Mail Online

A grieving Natthanan and Yanika console each other outside the South Klang police headquarters yesterday. ― Malay Mail pic

A grieving Natthanan and Yanika console each other outside the South Klang police headquarters yesterday. ― Malay Mail pic

KLANG, Feb 10 — The family of S. Balamurugan is claiming police brutality after he was found dead at the North Klang police headquarters on Tuesday.

They also questioned why the 44-year-old man, who was self-employed in the tyre recycling business, was not released immediately after the Klang magistrate’s court refused to grant police a remand order.

S. Balraj, 33, said he was shocked to see the bruises and wounds on his brother’s body after a post-mortem at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah.

He said he was only allowed to have a glimpse of his brother’s face before the post-mortem and to see Balamurugan’s body after the procedure.

“There were bruises all over his body. He had a bloodied nose and wounds on his shoulder that looked like he was scalded with water,” Balraj said.

“He also had a large bruise on his chest. I want to know how the bruise got there.”

Balraj said his brother was recovering from fever when he was arrested along with two others for alleged robbery on Monday. He also said his brother suffered from a heart condition, but was on medication.

“Why was he not released immediately?” he asked. Read more

Rekindling Tunku’s commitment to liberty and justice — Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY TUNKU ZAIN Al-‘ABIDIN

opinion-clipart-k12118272FEBRUARY 10 — Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj declared in the Proclamation of Independence of the Federation of Malaya, and then the Proclamation of Malaysia, that this nation of ours will “forever be a nation based on the principles of liberty and justice”.

Right from the beginning, liberty and justice were the twin principles that were to inspire our nation — sentiments repeated across his many speeches and writings, as well as those of other leaders of the era such as Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman or Datuk Mohamad Said.

The Rukunegara talks about “guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions.”  Those who fail to realise these values are the founding philosophy of our country should read the documents instead of distorting and misinterpreting selected words of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, politicians everywhere have lost the ability to lead, and have instead succumbed to winning simply through populism, as the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump have shown.  My fear is that we will see a greater lurch towards populism as we get closer to the 14th General Election.

Exploiting ethnic and religious tensions is among the easiest ways to make political gains, notwithstanding helpful electoral boundaries and privileged access to media which will pliantly obscure the elephants in the room. Read more