Kugan was never given a second chance. Neither should the Home minister, the police chief and the Attorney-General.

Kugan's death: RCI only? Home Minister, IGP and AG must go

Written by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

The Sessions Court acquitted 30 year-old police constable V Navindran for causing the death of A. Kugan who died whilst he was in police custody. The prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case.

Kugan’s family was deeply disappointment with the court verdict but indicated that they would continue to seek justice for Kugan.

Initial post-mortem reports stated that the 23 year-old’s death was classified as ‘sudden death’ and that he had water in his lungs. Following a second post mortem examination, his death was reclassified as murder.

A 2010 BBC report said that over 1,500 people died between 2003 and 2007 while being held by the authorities. There are also unsubstantiated reports that most of the dead were Indian.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said that he had seen Kugan’s injuries as he lay in the morgue at the Serdang General Hospital.

“Blood was oozing out from his mouth when his body was turned around for inspection. From head to toe there were various injuries, cuts and bruises all over his body,” he said.

A second post-mortem commissioned by Kugan’s family claimed that he had been beaten, starved and burnt with a hot iron.

Mohan said, “As Kugan died during police custody, Royal Malaysian Police are solely to be held responsible over this”.

The Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had originally mentioned 11 suspects, but only one policeman was charged, whilst the others were transferred.

Mohan said, “This means the murderer roams freely until today”.

He stressed that deaths in police custody indicated mistreatment at police stations and lock-ups, and that there was a need for these to be independently investigated.

He called on Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to form an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to prevent more custodial deaths.

MIC information chief S. Murugessan echoed Mohan’s call for the formation of an IPCMC. He blamed the low number of convictions for death in police custody on the absence of a proper mechanism to convict the perpetrators of custodial deaths, and said that the current system lacked impartiality and transparency.

MIC Youth pressed the government to form a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe how A. Kugan died in police custody.

Mohan said, “This surely calls for an independent royal commission of inquiry to investigate further without fear or favour.”

Why should the MIC demand for an RCI only? Why stop there?

Kugan may have been an Indian man but it is time we acknowledge that there are no Indian problems or Chinese problems or Malay problems. What happened to Kugan is a Malaysian problem.

Kugan’s death is part of the bigger picture in Malaysian society. It is the failure of our police forces to uphold law and order, and preserve the peace. It is also the failure of our judiciary to dispense justice.

When will we understand that we must work as one to solve the problems that our country faces?

The 53 years of BN rule was built on a foundation of race or religion or both. It is about time we functioned as mature adults and learn that segregation and separation is why BN is successful. Why should we sacrifice our freedom and democratic values for BN’s propaganda?

Malaysia can only exist if all its peoples live and think as one. It will never thrive and flourish if each separate component decides to champion its own lot.

Something that happens to one section of the community is bound to affect the others. It does not matter if it is a good or a bad occurrence. Our lives do intermingle.

What happened to Kugan is shocking and despicable. Our government handled his death and the subsequent investigation badly.

At one time, the police were democratically accountable to the local community. However, the link between the police and their communities has been broken.

It appears that in modern day Malaysia, policemen who commit crimes, cannot be held to account. The police chiefs have become all too powerful and they are estranged from the population. They have lost our support.

The police may have been a proud force during our great-grandparents time, and no one would have questioned anything they did.

So when will the police try to restore trust and rebuild confidence. They need to reform just as this country needs to be reformed.

Kugan was not the first to die in police custody but the handling of his case has been disgusting from the start. Malaysians were right to express outrage and condemn its police forces and judiciary.

That is why it is not just MIC who should call for an RCI into Kugan’s death.

It is every Malaysian’s duty to demand that the government finds out what happened to Kugan and punish those responsible.

1 comment:

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government