Balamurugan’s death in custody — Charles Santiago

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY CHARLES SANTIAGO

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

FEBRUARY 11 — Two hundred forty two people walked into police lockups alive but left in body bags since 2000. This is according to Malaysia National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

S. Balamurugan is number 243.

I welcome investigations by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and Suhakam into Balamurugan’s death in police custody.

These inquiries must be public hearings and the findings must also be made available to the public.

But there is one glitch here: the recommendations by these national bodies are not binding. They may remain good only on paper but may never be enforced.

As such, how do we ensure justice is served to the grieving family?

How do we convince the family and the public that those who were responsible for Balamurugan’s death will be punished?

More so as, despite the hue and cry, no police officer has been suspended? And neither has the police chief responded. Read more

Detainee’s family wants authorities to classify Klang custodial death as murder

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lawyer N Surendran. — MMO file pic

Lawyer N Surendran. — MMO file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — The custodial death of S Balamurugan should be classified as murder and investigated immediately, lawyer for the victim’s family demanded today.

N Surendran and Latheefa Koya who are representing Balamurugan’s family also said there is no need for an inquest as the 44-year-old died while under police custody at its North Klang headquarters earlier this week instead of being released immediately according to a magistrate’s order when a remand application was rejected.

“In view of the clear facts, there is no need for any inquest to be held into Balamurugan’s death. Instead, there should be a swift criminal investigation and consequent prosecutions,” they said in a joint statement.

“Whilst section 334 of the CPC states that a Magistrate must hold an inquiry in cases of death in custody, section 333(3) provides that an inquest becomes unnecessary once criminal proceeding are instituted,” the lawyers added, referring to the Criminal Procedure Code. Read more

An honest look in the mirror for Malay(sian) Muslims — Nadia Jalil

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY NADIA JALIL

opinion-clipart-k12118272FEBRUARY 11 — “Malaysian Muslims should struggle against anything in Malaysian culture which does not protect dignity and equality of human being.” — Tariq Ramadan, Kuala Lumpur, January 2015

Looking at developments in the US, I think there are few Muslims who would be unmoved by the large-scale protests against the #MuslimBan there. I wonder, though, how many of us Malay Muslims who have felt touched and inspired by the sight of non-Muslims in a “non-Muslim country” defending Muslims against oppression, felt a twinge of guilt at the fact that we have been complicit in, if not active participants of, oppression in our own country.

Quite apart from the “special position” of Islam in Malaysia, which has been used to exert a kind of dominion over members of other faiths—from the major, such as the illegal expropriation of Orang Asli lands in Kelantan and elsewhere, to regular microaggressions like calls to boycott businesses owned by non-Muslims—it has now become very obvious that we have a very sick society.

Malay culture has become one of judgement over mercy. We have abandoned the precepts of hikmah in da’wah and adab when we indulge in amar ma’ruf nahi munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil). Indeed, more often than not, we relish in public undertakings of nahi munkar and barely enjoin good at all. Social media may not be a perfect yardstick, but given that Malaysians are one of the most active users of social media in the world, it’s a pretty reliable measure of social attitudes. Observe, for instance, the public shaming that occurs when a Malay(sian) Muslim is judged to have strayed from accepted mores, particularly in cases where women do not follow conventions in terms of dress.  Read more