PETALING JAYA, Feb 6 — Tan Sri Musa Hassan urged the government today to form an independent body to oversee police conduct in the wake of several custodial deaths.
The former Inspector-General of Police said, however, that he preferred an alternative to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), as he disagreed with one of the clauses that barred police officers from appealing action taken against them.
“From what I feel with this trend, I feel it’s good to have an independent body who will oversee the conduct and affairs of the police,” said Musa at a press conference organised by crime watchdog MyWatch here today.
“I’ve given an alternative to IPCMC (before): the Police Integrity Commission,” he added.
Security guard C. Sugumaran, 39, was allegedly beaten to death by the police and a mob in Hulu Langat on January 23.
Sugumaran’s death joins a list of other alleged police killings like the custodial deaths of Chang Chin Te earlier this year; A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009; the deadly police shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010, and various other fatal police shootings in the past two years.
A United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2010 visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported in 2011 that “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities” between 2003 and 2007.
The Bar Council, civil society and several politicians from both sides of the divide have called for an IPCMC to reform the police force since 2006.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, however, both refused to comment at press conferences recently when asked about the IPCMC.
Musa today also supported calls for an inquiry into Sugumaran’s death.
“An inquest should be done if you’re not sure what is the cause of death to the deceased,” he said.
“If you’re not sure, can’t simply pinpoint that he’s been murdered,” added the former top cop.
The police have recommended an inquest, but Sugumaran’s family has insisted on a murder investigation.
The initial post-mortem conducted by Serdang Hospital revealed that Sugumaran had died of a heart attack.
Sugumaran’s family, however, has demanded a second post-mortem and appointed Thai forensic pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand to conduct it.
Dr Pornthip is the same forensic pathologist who had observed Teoh Beng Hock’s second post-mortem and testified at a royal inquiry that foul play was likely involved in the DAP aide’s mysterious death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s Selangor headquarters in 2009.