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Botakgate is public “thumbing of the nose” of the two Royal Commissions and the Prime Minister by irresponsible police elements which is why it is imperative to set up IPCMC without any more delay to restore public confidence


Speech at the Penang DAP Chinese New Year Open House
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Saturday): Malaysians woke up today  to the sight in the morning newspapers of 11 mostly senior citizens, handcuffed and with their heads shaved bald by the police, being  led by police to the Kajang magistrate’s court after  a 19-hour detention in the Kajang police lock-up on the second night of the Chinese New Year for gambling when they met up for supper, drinks and mahjong at a coffee-shop at Balakong.

Many questions must have swirled in the minds of Malaysians, including:

  • Why is there a police Botakgate scandal when the police are undergoing reforms after two Royal Commission reports – when it was quite unheard-of before? Are things getting better or worse?
  • Did the Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Noor Hakim, who defended the police Botakgate, read and understand the first Royal Police Commission Report submitted in May last year on the need for a new PDRM Motto, Vision Statement,  Mission and Value System incorporating the cardinal objectives of integrity, public accountability and upholding human rights?
  • Is   the top police leadership, in particular the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Bakri Omar and his deputy,  Datuk Seri Musa Hassan committed to implement the Royal Commission Report and recommendations on a new PDRM Motto, Vision Statement, Mission and Value System – representing four of the first Commission’s 125 recommendations, three of which were supposed to have been implemented by August 2005?
  • Is the top police leadership prepared to reprimand the Kajang OCPD for failing to understand the thrust and purpose  of the Royal Police Commissions or is it in full support of  the Botakgate scandal?
  • Is the  police Botakgate scandal, coming so soon after the police nude “Squatgate”, a public “thumbing of the nose” not only of the two Royal Police Commissions by irresponsible police elements but also of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also the Internal Security Minister?

Whatever the answers, the Botakgate is a public “thumbing of the nose” of the two Royal Commissions and the Prime Minister by irresponsible police elements which is why it is imperative to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) without any more delay to restore public confidence that Malaysia is not a police state but the police is subject to democratic governance.

Attempts by the Kajang OCPD to justify the Botakgate scandal do not stand scrutiny that it is not a gross abuse of power. 

Is he prepared to give figures of how many people were detained in the Kajang  police lock-ups for the past one month, and how many of them had their heads shaved bald? 

Ordinary Malaysians themselves  can give a long list of people, famous and not-famous, who were not victims of the police Botakgate.

The Botakgate scandal, together with the objection by three police organizations, Senior Police Officers Association Inspector Branch, Senior Police Officers Association (Gazetted Branch) and Lower Rank Police Association to the establishment of the IPCMC announced by Abdullah  on January 24 has catapulted the country to a crisis as to whether the police accept the authority of the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament.

I find it most shocking that the Internal Security Deputy Minister Datuk Chia Kwang Chye was reported in the Chinese press today as saying that the government had not made a “final decision” on the establishment of the IPCMC, which means that the most important of the 125 recommendations of the first Royal Commission might not be implemented  after all.

From Chia’s remarks, it would appear that the whole question of whether the IPCMC would be established is still fluid and subject to change, which is completely at variance with the categorical announcement by the Prime Minister on January 24 that “The government has agreed to set up an independent commission to receive complaints on and monitor police misconduct as soon as possible in an effort to improve the police service” and that “the Attorney-General's Chambers was looking into the details before the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was set up”.  (Bernama 24.1.06)

The Prime Minister should clarify the air to reaffirm that a definitive decision had been taken by the government to set up the IPCMC and that it would not bow to pressures whether in the form of Botakgate or others to change its mind.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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