Victims of Malaysian Police Custody

Who are all these 1536 people who died mysteriously in custody….


A public note to Yang Berhormat Charles Santiago , Members of Parliament and all the State Assemblies

We have to thank YB Santiago for making a very clear and painfully crafted statement in respect of the most recent death of an individual who was held in police custody for several days. This statement was made by the YB in the face of the Selangor Police Chief’s statement, which already implied that it was not the police that was responsible but the people who shut themselves in the hospital morgue and as if it was a conspiracy to further taint the already bad image of the police force. Today the police seem to have come up with another ridiculous explanation for the death. They have yet to explain the horrendous visible injuries on the body of the victim, which appears to be many days old. The image of the dead vistim is like a scene out of the ‘killing fields of Vietnam’.    

The Police Chief, in the rush to make a judgment, has clearly demonstrated that he cannot be relied upon to conduct any independent and objective investigation and take action on the criminals who killed or murdered the detainee. Even if the Police Chief had the will to do so, which we clearly doubt, he has  already shown his incompetence on many issues and the rush to judgment is the latest episode.  He has disqualified himself from investigating the case.  People do not have any trust in him.

Words will not express the sadness, the fear, the shock, the shame and a sense of helplessness and bewilderment that Malaysian’s are feeling at the loss of a young human man in the prime of his life in such a despicable, horrendous and atrocious manner regardless of the crimes that he may or may not have committed.  Such deaths can only happen in a barbaric and uncivilized society. Until this issue of deaths of detainees is properly investigated and every death is properly accounted for, it will be difficult to believe that we are not living among the scum of the earth.

Any kindergarten child will tell us that the police are directly responsible for this death.  Knowing that this is bolehland, it is possible that the police gave access to the victim’s enemies to enter the police space to do the despicable act.  Another possibility is that some other detainees in custody could have committed the dastardly act.  We want to know the truth in this case – who are the criminals?

If we had the IPCMC, then we could have some hope for an independent investigation, and that truth will be told and justice would be done.  But, IPCMC is not here today and it is not likely it will ever be established as long as the likes of YB Syed Hamid hold power.

Kugan, the most recent victim of custodial abuse should be the last straw that broke the camel’s back. His death should become the catalytical flashpoint to put the Government, the Home Minister and the Chief of Police in the dock to explain his death and the deaths of the 1535 detainees from 2003. We the citizens of Malaysia have the duty to prevent another custodial death in such mysterious circumstances. Let his be the last.

Who are all these 1536 people who died mysteriously in custody  – what is their ethnic background, which age group did they all come from, in which districts of the country did these deaths occur, for what reasons were they held in custody, how long were they in custody before they died, what investigations were carried out before these cases were closed and what was the cause of death in each case, how many police officers or prison officers were disciplined or brought to court.  Yes, these are all the questions that require to be answered. Are these deaths random occurrences, as the police may have us belief, or are these targeted killing?

It is often said that the crime rate in this country will not be so high if the police personnel are involved directly in crime either through participation or through corruption. Are these deaths the manifestation of the sorry state of our police force that is led by a Chief who has been openly accused of being in complicity with the mafia groups?  Let an independent commission or panel tell us this is not the case for we do not have anymore trust or faith in the assurances of either our political leaders or the Police Chief.  

Every elected representative of the people should agitate in their respective legislatures and send  delegations to go meet DYMM Agung, DYMM Sultans and the YAB PM to establish this independent commission or panel. Every forum should be used to raise this issue. The Bar Council should be requested to have a debate on custodial deaths and its effects on justice, the judicial system and simply on the moral fabric of society.

Ask people to come to new candle light vigils, gather in every place of worship, be it Masjid, Church or a Temple and pray and ask for truth to be told and justice to be done to the voiceless victims and their families and get the congregations to petition the DYMM Agung on the issue. .

Going by YB Anwar’s experience, the government will not act until its back is against the wall. Unless the elected representatives make this call and people agitate, nothing is going to happen. 

It is ridiculous, to say the least, to have special parliamentary sessions to pass resolutions to protect the rights of Palestinians if in our own backyard every human right in the book is so willfully disregarded.  The resolutions of our Parliament will only be credible if our parliamentarians act first and foremost to protect the citizens of their own country.  The resolutions on the Palestinians, as much as the much as they deserve to be supported, will not amount to anything if our police force behaves like a Nazi outfit and ignores the rights of the citizens of this country. 

One can also see the intimidation the police are using to scare two Ministers of the government and members of Parliament by specially electing to question them simply for being at the morgue to console the distraught and angry people present at the scene.  The Police Chief did not say a word that a proper investigation will be carried out to determine the truth. This is what any Chief, however incompetent he is, would have stated.  This shows the arrogance of the Police and is completely contrary to what the YAB DPM assured the public immediately after coming out of the defeat in KT. Unless this Police Chief is suspended from duty with immediate effect, he is likely create evidence to disprove police liability. 

Shame the government into acting on the inexplicable death of so many detainees.  In the absence of an independent investigation, any decent citizen has no reason but to believe in what HINDRAF has been saying.

BN should know that after the destruction of Hindu temples, the careless treatment of the Tamil people of this country would be the next big issue. Makal Shakti will rise yet once again, if the BN does not act.

Parliamentarians, please, we urge you to act.


Thank you