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Shaving bald 11 mostly senior
citizens in Kajang – mark of “new police respect” for human rights?
Such deliberate humiliation of members of the public is all the more deplorable when the Police had just announced that all 147 OCPDs in Malaysia will attend a mandatory human rights training seminar at the end of the month in line with the Royal Commission’s recommendations for sensitization of police officers on human rights.
Is the police’s high-handed action in shaving bald the 11 mostly senior citizens in Kajang to mark a “new police respect” for human rights?
The statement by the Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Noor Hakim that it was normal lock-up procedure to shave a detainee’s head - that the lock-up rules state that “rambut mesti di potong pendek-pendek” – and that the police would “continue with this procedure” is most disturbing.
Will there be more police outrages utterly contemptuous and insensitive of human dignity and rights of Malaysians in the “new police respect” for human rights?
Many Malaysians must be asking whether this is the first salvo of police retaliation against the Royal Commission Reports and recommendations for police accountability and good governance as well as respect for human dignity and rights.
There are more and more indications that the Police are resisting and opposing the Royal Commission Reports and recommendations, in particular the most important proposal on the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
This is the message of the front-page headline story “Polis tolak suruhanjaya – Alasan sudah ada empat bada serupa pantau PDRM” in Utusan Malaysia today, which is significant for three reasons:
The contention that the four existing police oversight mechanisms are adequate does not hold any water or there would be no need for the establishment of a Royal Police Commission in the first place.
The reason given by the Royal Commission for its proposal for ICPMC remains unchallenged by the three police organizations, viz: “The establishment of an external oversight agency for PDRM would be a profoundly important development in the governance of the important organization. It will mark a quantum step forward in enhancing accountability and help restore and sustain the confidence of the people and private sector in PDRM”.
If the Prime Minister backs off now from establishing the ICPMC, after announcing it 12 days ago on 24th January 2006, it would not only plunge public confidence in the police to a new low, but even worse, the Abdullah premiership as well!
Instead of trying to scuttle the ICPMC, the Police leadership should set the example of endorsement as well as mobilizing the support of the 100,000-strong PDRM for police reforms.
It should not just be receiving the representations from the three police organizations but should be explaining to them the rationale for the Royal Commission recommendations.
Did the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Bakri Omar and his deputy, Datuk Seri Musa Hassan explained to the three police organizations at their meeting why they support the Prime Minister in the establishment of the ICPMC?
I agree with one sentiment expressed by the three police organizations that the police should not be singled out for reforms, but I do not agree that police reforms should be suspended until and unless similar reforms are undertaken in other enforcement agencies like customs and immigration.
The establishment of the IPCMC and the implementation of the 133 recommendation of the two Royal Police Commissions should not be held up, but reforms in all enforcement agencies and government departments must be embarked upon without any delay.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission