Open letter to all PR MPs – Please move an emergency motion in Parliament to stop all wanton shooting and killing by the Police

By N. Naragan, Concerned Senior Citizen, Penang

I refer to the recent spate of cold blooded shootings by the PDRM of suspected criminals. At least 11 people have been shot dead in the last 30 days or so – and all of these killings follow a repeated pattern which suggests a definite scheme. The police have decided that they will shoot to kill off suspected criminals to meet their KPIs of crime reduction. For public consumption, they make the shootings look like they were doing all of this in self defence and in compliance with the law of the land. Please do not ask me for proof for what I am saying, for I have none. I am not arguing a legal case, I am arguing a moral case.

Almost all of you YBs have remained silent on these killings. If you have chosen to remain silent on this, I presume it can only be because of one of two reasons. One is that you are probably not cognizant of the larger issues that these episodes really represent. Or two, maybe it is not politically expedient for you to get involved. Also, given the sectarian mindsets so prevalent in our politics, it does not help the case that most killed in these shootings were Indian youths. And recent history seems to reinforce the idea that Indian lives are cheap in this country.
In any case, your continuing silence on this issue will only project a picture of your ineptitude and of ineptitude on the part of the Pakatan Coalition to speak up when you all should be speaking up. The killing represents just the tip of an iceberg of very much more significant underlying ailments in our system. If you can see all of this, then it behooves you to speak up and to act. Otherwise, the unavoidable conclusion we have to come to is that you all are inept and your ineptitude does not allow you to perceive the significant issues of governance and social justice involved here. This also raises the spectre of a mistake we may have made in placing our trust in you and in PR. The recent Merdeka Centre survey also indicate a general erosion in support for the Pakatan coalition because of insensitive handling of issues of importance to the Rakyat.
Let me attempt to explain the larger implications of this issue, and pardon me for any presumptions on this matter:
1) These summary executions by the PDRM represent a breakdown of the processes of governance in our country. There are processes and there are institutions to deal with the law and order problem in the country and there are clear provisions in the Federal Constitution and laws to deal with such situations. There are various roles prescribed for the different arms of the government to maintain law and order, including for the PDRM. In committing these summary killings, all these have been transgressed with impunity by the PDRM. The Federal Constitution and the relevant Acts of Parliament are quite explicit on the rights of individuals and limits of action on this:
(1) Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution provides that:-
“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law.”


(2) Section 15(3) and of the Criminal Procedure Code provides that :-
“Nothing in this section gives a right to cause the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life”.
The PDRM has ignored all these provisions in the Federal Constitution and the law and has usurped the role of the Judge, the Jury, the Prosecutor and the Executioner in carrying out these summary killings. We only have the word of the Police that they are criminals and they are hardcore ones at that and therefore they are justified in their act of shooting to kill. Can any citizen just engage in similar acts, and then justify their actions by claiming that they targetted criminals? This is the express purpose of having the laws and the due processes.
This is an extremely serious act by the PDRM that has the effect of usurpation of State Power by one branch of the government and this undermines the sanctity of our entire system of governance. Should all of you legislators remain silent when such a major transgression is happening?
It is my opinion that this situation presents a tremendous opportunity to all of you Pakatan Rakyat law makers to present an alternative approach to addressing this issue that is happening now, right under your noses.
This is not an isolated incident. The same thing is happening elsewhere too but it manifests itself differently –  the usurpation of State power in Perak and in the Upper court’s scanty treatment of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s various appeals. It is the  same underlying issue of a breakdown of the system of governance in the country.
2) The other significant point about the summary killing of suspected criminals is that you cannot expect to eradicate Malaria by killing off the mosquitoes. The recent actions by the PDRM is akin to curing the country of its law and order problem by killing off suspected criminals. Which country in the world has sustainably been able to cure its law and order problem with summary executions? Countries which do that only see they have to spend increasing amounts in more jails, more guns and more law enforcement. This really exposes the superficial approaches to complex problems of our society by the Barisan Nasional Government.
It is my opinion that this situation presents a tremendous opportunity to all of you Pakatan law makers to present an alternative approach to addressing complex issues such as this. That is, if you choose to. Political expediency seems to be the defining character of current day politics. But we would like to see the Pakatan lawmakers rise above the lesser considerations of expediency and act based on principles of justice, democracy and leadership and with a view to solving society’s problems not just meeting some KPI targets. In fact, by taking a principled approach on this, you can show up the inefficacy of the BN Government’s policy of driving improvements in Government performance by the blind use of devices such as KPIs.
IN summary, we the rakyat would like you to do the following in the current session of Parliament:
1) To pass an emergency motion calling for an immediate moratorium on all police killings, whether encounter killings or killings in Police custody.
2) In that same motion to include a call for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry much like the one set up for Teoh Beng Hock’s case to investigate all these extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals during the tenure of current IGP Musa Hassan.
3) In that same motion to also call for the prosecution of the police who are responsible for the killings; because it is non-prosecution of such police personnel responsible for the killings that result in a continuation of the killing.
In my opinion such an act of support for the people is what will make the people look up to Pakatan Rakyat. Over the last 20 months since the last General Election, the Pakatan Rakyat Legislators seem to have moved away from being the Rakyat’s party and looking more and more like the Barisan Nasional. Here is an opportunity to turn the tide. That is, if you choose to.
We hope you all will rise to this challenge.
Thank You.