I refer to the New Straits Times report Lock-up Abuse Inquiry: Episode caused unnecessary anguish.
I have written to the NST to clarify the statement which I have been seriously misquoted.
In the sentence: "We apologise for doing something we never did. We spent money setting up a commission and sending our minister and deputy ministers to China. All this could have been avoided."
I did not in one breath made such a statement and it has been taken out of context. I did not mention about the ministers making a trip to China but it was given as information by the reporter. I did comment that the funds spent in setting up a commission seems to have come to naught as it had not made the public any wiser on the alleged case.
I had also commented that there was a mismanagement of information on the part of the police as they did not duly inform the ministry on the identity of the detainee. However, irrespective of whether it was a local Malaysian or a foreigner, abuse of police power happens and is happening in Malaysia. It is only when such a case is highlighted that concern is shown.
I sincerely hope that NST will take the necessary steps to correct the citation of my statement. While space may be a limitation, correct and precise editing is of utmost importance.
To reiterate the Women Development Collective's stand, we are of the opinion that police officers have take upon themselves to be the god of law enforcement and that Malaysia appears to be heading for a police state in which the police reigns supreme. The fact that we still have reported cases of alleged police officers making detainees to strip and to do squats when naked. These cases need to be investigated.
It is deplorable that such blatant abuse of police power still continues unashamedly. Action must be taken against police officers who have committed such abusive acts. Furthermore, the IGP and other relevant authorities must take action to ensure that all members of the police force respect the basic human rights of all persons irrespective of sex or gender.
To set the record, the Women's Development Collective had earlier on called for:
- Immediate action against the police officers responsible for the continued harassment and violence against the foreign women; these officer should be charged in a court of law if they are found to have been criminally negligent;
- The denouncement of the abuses by the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the minister of internal affairs; furthermore, these same authorities should implement concrete measures to ensure that the police force uphold and respect human rights, integrity, and non-violence.
- The speedy implementation of the recommendations in the Royal Police Commission's report so that law and order and citizens' confidence in the police force can be quickly restored.
The writer is the executive director of the Women's Development Collective.