Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Police Must Be Crazy

It is such a sad state of affairs. You would have read in Malaysiakini our top police officers making allegations and counter allegations against each other, against the Deputy Minister of Internal Security and the Anti-Corruption Agency.

You would also have read the news of police officers with automatic rifles charging at a 100 year old Hindu temple and its devotees to demolish the building. Many were injured as a result and one victim is apparently in a coma. Some 14 persons were arrested including a 15 year old boy.

Late last evening, 4 lawyers - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, V Ganabathy and Vethamoorthy went to Shah Alam police station to lodge a police report over the above incident.

Unbelievably, based on witness statements, they were denied entry into the police station at the gates. Shouting began and a small fracas soon followed with one of the lawyers pushed to the ground.

Finally, the lawyers were allowed in to lodge their report over the afternoon temple demolition incident. However shockingly, the Deputy OCPD then appeared and had the four lawyers handcuffed and arrested!

As 2 of the lawyers are DAP lawyers, I received a call from one of the concerned Malaysian present and I arrived at the scene at about 12 midnight.

There was already a group of Indian Malaysians gathered outdside and a candlelight vigil was soon started, where we asked for the lawyers to be released.

We tried to get the police officers to let the parents of the 15 year old boy see their child but the police refused permission.

Calls were made and soon a team of lawyers from the bar council arrived, led by Edmund Bon. However, they too were denied access.

The OCPD then led a small team of police officers to confront us (who were at the gates) insisting that our peaceful vigil was illegal and insisted that we disperse. He however refused to entertain requests for his name made by Weng San (who joined me later), as well as others - clearly against police protocols.

The Bar Council lawyers took the opportunity to insist that they be allowed to see their clients which the OCPD initially refused. However with seeming pressure from the crowd and fluent recitations of the penal code, the OCPD relented to let the Bar Council lawyers into the police station.

We waited for more than an hour only to find out that they were not allowed to meet the lawyers who were detained. Edmund and co then proceed to file a police report that they were not allowed to see their clients. The police then attempt to "chase" the lawyers out of the police station, only to have the lawyers lodge another police report on the police attempting to do so.

Given the Prime Minister's rude and poorly explained snub on the Bar Council, this only goes to show the scant regard our government has for the rule of law. All these happenings, temple demolitions, police brutality and sheer governmental arrogance just makes you think that an "evil" government is running this country. The government has lost all moral authority over the population and anybody with a decent and clear conscious cannot possibly know the above and yet vote for Barisan Nasional.

And where's the much need Independent Police Complaints and Monitoring Commission (IPCMC) to restore the credibility of the force which Pak Lah promised (so long ago)?

I left the scene not too long after receiving the above news, knowing that the lawyers in custody are in good hands. ;) Tony Pua reporting from Shah Alam Police Station Headquarters, 2.45am. ;)
Post a Comment