Friday, January 30, 2009

Do not deny your weakness, police told

After the funeral and cremation of a police detainee still under investigation, who was brutally tortured and murdered by a few irresponsible police personnel, every one of us are demanding to know what is the direction of the police force now?

We are all asking this question not only for Kugan, not only for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (who was brutally tortured and beaten up by the then Inspector-General of Police) but for all those innocent people who had both suffered from mentally and physical tortures under police detentions or detention without trials.

The major concern here is not for a few particular individuals, but in the interest of the public in our nation, the human rights of each of every person here in Malaysia. Innocent people were not respected, deprived from their dignities and treated like a common murderers, like it was these people has been detained and immediately given the judgment as guilty by the police force and therefore, being treated like a murderer, a terrorist or a common criminal. Like what has been shown in a movie Judge Dredd who acts as a police, judge and executioner in public. We are not asking you to treat suspected criminals in a first class manner, these people are human beings too, they need to be treated in a just and fair manner too and let the court of law take its course.

Our question is simple! Where are our people’s rights? Are we safe and is our security guaranteed? Why is the crime rate going up and increasing daily?

Let us answer them for you. You are nowhere around when we needed your assistance, your bit base are either locked or empty, your stations are insufficient in manpower, for patrolling and so on, most of your personnel are either overweight or inefficient, politically one-sided and so on, and there are a lot more problems in the organization and structures.

When there is motor vehicle accident, we cannot make a report at the nearest police station, because they would not accept it, but instead we need to go to the district police headquarters to do so. So what is the use of having all those police stations in the villages, housing estates, markets and the bit base as well? If all these police sub-stations cannot even play a simple role of receiving and validating a report, then what are all those policemen doing there? What is the use of building so many police stations here and there and they cannot even fully function for the benefit of the public.

We have heard a lot of sayings or merely sayings from the previous and present Inspector-General of Police saying that any police stations in the country must receive reports from the public but it still doesn’t work at all. We still received complaints from the public over the inconvenience of having have to go over to the district police headquarters on a minor issues or vehicle accident, even if is there is already a police station nearby. If all these police stations cannot even play a simple role, other than the district police headquarters, just close them down effectively.

No wonder the district police headquarters are always packed with documentations, jammed with public daily enquiries, complaints and grievances, insufficient police personnel or clerical staff to handle ongoing cases and complaints which caused of the delays and errors when there are hearings, recording of statements, missing files, missing reports, misunderstandings and so on. Sometimes, you could also see traffic jams in the district police headquarters and there don’t even have enough parking space for the public to do so.

So, what are they actually doing all these while? All we had seen is these policemen has been doing a lot of political duties on behalf of prominent and powerful politicians from the federal government, namely stamping out people’s freedom of speech, freedom of expression, human rights gathering, curbing opposition parties’ activities, curbing opposition parties’ gathering, arresting opposition parliamentarians and state assemblymen for doing their jobs, manning road blocks to increase traffic jams at peak hours, eyeing or planning something to prevent an imagining political unrest which will never happen at all, listening too much to the views of the Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians and lastly having no self judgment on what is right and what is wrong. That is why the crime rate in this country is so high.

We have cases now, houses and properties of prominent politicians, businessmen being robbed, intruded into, even retired top police officers’ residence are not spared as well. There are a few reports of senior police officers being badly injured by highly experienced professional criminals. We all also know, the police cannot even control the rising influence of the well known and notorious Malay motorcycle gangs known as “Mat Rempit” in Malay language. This is because these policemen are busy curbing opposition politics for the BN people.

The police are treating suspected petty criminals in a harshest manner whereas the harshest criminals like those “Mat Rempit” are treated in a softest manner. And they let Putera Umno do the rest when they were caught in illegal racings and committing other violent crimes.

When crime alert, they are nowhere to be seen, but when there is a cycling for public awareness on certain issues, human rights or some peaceful and harmless candle light vigil, the police are the quickest in coming over to haul up and beat up all these innocent and harmless people who were merely exercising their citizens rights just because they are opposition sided in their activities. Their views are, politics are more important than crimes. Their immediate superior is the home affairs minister who is also a prominent and powerful leader of the supremacist Umno and that is where they get their salaries from, so they must listen to him more, politically.

Then they come saying these gathering and that activity is illegal and there is no permit or permission and more and more reasons they give. It is all about the law, and this is what they always say. The citizens always break the laws. They and even the home affairs minister do not use their common sense to judge things in a humane manner.

Just imagine if there is a festive celebration going on at a place of worship and there are many people that who are going in the place of worship for the purpose of prayers, recitations, offerings, can you go arrest all those innocent people just because they are gathering there or the place of worship has been too overcrowded and there’s no permit for it or they fear that it will run out of control? We supposed the home affairs minister may take advantage of these and expand his powers onto such occasions one day, if the opposition parties were to make more inroads in the next general elections. Who knows?

Therefore, it has been very clear that the force has been overly and extensively made use by Umno to enhance its political interest. The force is not fully independent and it acts on the executive order of the dominant party in the country, and we all know who.

Therefore again, we need the Independent Police Complaints and Misconducts Commission (IPCMC) to take place in order to improve the situation, the structure, the organization and finally, to upgrade the professionalism of the police force. The police force need not fear of the IPCMC, the creation of IPCMC is to guide the force into a better and respected organization and trusted by the people.

The police force must understand the IPCMC is here to help, not to create more damages. Umno is still in a denial mode and we really hope that the police are not in a denial mode as well. So please, let us help each other and not fear each other instead.

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