EAIC: Sharp rise in complaints against enforcers, but insufficient proof for action

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) chairman Datuk A. Aziz A. Rahim speaks during the launch of the ‘Report Enforcers’ Misconduct’ campaign in Kuala Lumpur April 18, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Public complaints against enforcement agency officers more than doubled last year with the highest made against policemen, the government’s watchdog said today.

Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) chairman Datuk A. Aziz A. Rahim said 545 public complaints were made against enforcers last year compared to 247 in 2016.

“Out of last year’s complaints the highest was from the police,” he said during the launch of the EAIC’s “Report Enforcers’ Misconduct” campaign.

He attributed it to the high number of police personnel, noting that in comparison, complaints against other agencies were far lower.

He said the Immigration had 20 complaints, while the Road Transport Department received 13 complaints against their enforcement officers.

“But of the 545 complaints last year, around 60 to 70 per cent were without merit when we looked into it, as there was insufficient proof found,” he added. Read more

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

BY P RAMASAMY

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

Will EAIC recommendations make a difference?

Source: The Star

Prison bars general pix

Picture drawn from The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Tomorrow, another two reports investigating deaths in police custody will be released by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) but will the recommendations make any difference?

In April 2016, the EAIC made many recommendations involving the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of several government bodies following its public inquiry into the death of 32-year-old N. Dharmendran at the KL police headquarters lockup in 2013.

The public will know on Thursday (Jan 18) whether those recommendations were implemented or ignored.

Soh Kai Chiok, 49, died on Jan 18, 2017, at Triang police station in Bera District, Pahang, and S. Balamurugan, 44, on Feb 7 at North Klang District police headquarters, Selangor. Soh was reported to have stolen some bananas and Balamurugan was a robbery suspect.

Both these deaths occurred between nine and 10 months after the Dharmendran report was released.

Read more

Class bias and deaths in custody — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

Many custodial deaths involve detainees from the lower socio-economic segment of society, says Penang DCM.

By P Ramasamy

There seems to be no political will on the part of the government to address the issue of custodial deaths – deaths that occur even before remand prisoners are brought to trial in court.

Whether there is link between the lack of political will and the social class of those who have died in custody remains to be seen.

However, a cursory examination will reveal that deaths in custody involve those who are in the working class, especially those who are poor and who lack power and family support.

Talk of ensuring justice for remand prisoners and others is empty.

Custodial deaths are not confined to police lock-ups but also take place among remand prisoners in prisons.

Lately, statistics indicate that custodial deaths in prisons have risen.  Read more

Klang MP calls for inquiry into custodial death case

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Klang MP Charles Santiago has called for an official inquiry into alleged police negligence following the death of a detainee while en route to hospital for medical treatment yesterday.

Ganeshwaran Gunasigeren, 29, had been arrested for allegedly breaking into a factory in Bukit Tinggi.

Santiago said he was calling for the inquiry given the contradictory statements by the South Klang police chief and Ganeshwaran’s mother, in the interest of public accountability and good governance.

He said Ganeshwaran’s mother had disputed the police statement which claimed there were no signs of discomfort when Ganeshwaran was transported to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, and that he was “looking healthy and talking normally”.  Read more

Another government department, seriously? — Wong Chun Wai

Source: The Star Online

BY WONG CHUN WAI

YET another government department is going to be set up. Isn’t it common knowledge that the Government has serious budget constraints and is not recruiting to add to an already bloated civil service? And now, another tale of bureaucracy is being spun.

No wonder Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad is upset over the planned formation of the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low has said the proposed department is expected to improve good governance in the civil service.

How would the JITN as a new and probably tiny department be able to do the job? It would probably involve plenty of miracles since there is a reported 1.6 million civil servants to deal with, although Cuepacs says the figure is only at 500,000. It will be a Herculean task to move this mountain of manpower for what’s needed. Read more

Task force wants inquest into fifth case of custodial death

Source: FMT News

Task force chairman P Ramasamy says it’s time for an independent inquiry into the police force after a father of four dies in lock-up at Bukit Mertajam police station. Pic from FMT News.

GEORGE TOWN: A Penang task force on custodial deaths has asked for an inquest into the death of a drug abuse suspect at the Bukit Mertajam police station.

Task force chairman P Ramasamy said the latest death in police custody involved 39-year-old lorry driver Mohd Izham Abdul Rahman, who died on Apr 27.

According to Ramasamy, Izham was arrested on Apr 25 and sent to the intensive care ward at Bukit Mertajam Hospital. He died the next day due to breathing difficulties (sesak nafas).

“There seems to be no abating in such cases of death in police custody. To date, this brings the total who died in custody in the country (this year) to five people,” Ramasamy told reporters on the sidelines of the state assembly today. Read more

Balamurugan’s wife says she heard him screaming in pain

Source: FMT News

Natthanan Yoochomsuk tells public hearing into detainee’s death that police refused to let her meet her husband or reveal the reason for his arrest. Pic from FMT News.

PUTRAJAYA: The first day of the public hearing into the death of police detainee S Balamurugan turned into an emotional roller-coaster as his wife shared the last two days with her husband.

Natthanan Yoochomsuk, 38, said after Balamurugan’s detention on Feb 6 this year, she went to the Klang police station where she heard her husband screaming in pain while in the police lock-up. Read more

EAIC to call 55 witnesses to public hearing on Balamurugan’s death in custody

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows counsel N. Surendran speaking to the family of S. Balamurugan at the High Court in Shah Alam February 15, 2017. — Bernama pic.

File picture shows counsel N. Surendran speaking to the family of S. Balamurugan at the High Court in Shah Alam February 15, 2017. — Bernama pic.

PUTRAJAYA, April 20 — A total 55 witnesses will be called in four Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) public hearing sessions over the death of a detainee S. Balamurugan in a police lockup on Feb 7.

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said the public hearing session is open to the public and media at four sets of dates, namely, May 15 to 19; June 5 to 9; July 10 to 14; and July 24 to 28 at the EAIC Hearing Room, Level 11, Bangunan Menara Usahawan, Precinct 2 here, from 9am to 4.30pm.

He said the EAIC would extend invitations to the family of the dead detainee, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysia Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) , Home Ministry and interested parties in line with Section 36 of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Act (Act 700). Read more