Malaysiakini

Sugumar's death and our loss of compassion

YOURSAY ‘Let us instead build a civilised, caring and humane society. Let us regain our moral compass and a compassionate heart.'

Eyewitnesses recount Sugumar's final hour

your sayTehachapi: What is the use of Malaysia being known the world over as a developed nation, but it has no soul and no compassion for the sick, the invalid, the defenceless, the weak, the aged, and the poor among us. This is not the kind of society anyone in Malaysia can be proud of.

Let us instead build ourselves a civilised, caring and humane society which everybody is proud of, regardless of whether we are individually rich or poor. Let us regain our moral compass and a compassionate heart.

Taikohtai: A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) is sorely needed to investigate all deaths in police custody. It should be extended to include all related parties including hospitals, jails and even the courts.

But any RCI under BN is not going to reveal anything the public doesn't know already. We need truly independent judges, those from another Commonwealth country, who can unearth more than the local ones.

Anonymous_40c3: Whatever is said, a proper investigation must be conducted and a second independent post-mortem carried out.

One cannot blame people for reacting so negatively to such an incident as it has happened too many times. All these negative publicity is unnecessary.

The government will do well to heed this advice if it wishes to continue to have the rakyat's support, especially from the Indian community.

LittleGiant: If what is claimed by the witnesses are true, then Sugumar's family have the right to call for the case to be investigated for murder.

Don't the MIC leaders have any conscience and dignity left to take the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the government to task? Can the MIC, claiming to be the champion of the Indian Malaysian community, unreservedly offer its full support to Sugumaran's family to seek justice?

The only way the Indian community can voice its frustration and anger on the seemingly endless incidents of its members dying in police custody is to completely withdraw its support for the BN government in the coming general elections.
 
It is time the community gives an ultimatum to the government that it cannot tolerate these custodial deaths any more.

Trusting and expecting MIC to take the government to task and seek justice for these distressing episodes of Indians dying in police custody is like waiting to see the sun rise in the west. It will never happen.

BH Yap: I think the police in this country have forgotten their role as police. They no longer exercise restraint when there is a need to. They no longer have compassion for the people they serve.

Sfjkhglr843: Are we losing our civilised values and are on our way to becoming a barbaric society when all around us, countries are advancing rapidly?

Zainal: From now on whenever there is a death in police custody and the post-mortem report says it is due to a blockage to the heart, we can conclude that the deceased was stomped on the neck.

Isn't that what this incident has shown us? So thank you to the pathologist at Serdang Hospital for pointing this out.

Opah: How did this account become "he died of a heart attack"? What the police and the mob did was criminal, sadistic and violent.

What Serdang Hospital did to try to cover up this crime is symbolic of how bad things are in Malaysia today.

When crimes are covered up by willing "professionals", it creates an environment where our law makers and law enforcers operate with impunity.

Cala: To allow the said police officers to do anything they wish without a concern for a man's life or death is to allow a situation of the rule of the jungle. Were their lives under threat?

The rule of law dictates that those who caused the loss of life of any person be investigated and be prepared to face the full force of the law. Mind you, there should only be one set of laws in this Bolehland.

MY Kee: Sugumaran was big sized and mentally unstable. He stole some guy's trishaw and ran, used a hammer to destroy public property and another car, and also resisted arrest. Pardon me if I say something wrong.

What if a violent snatch thief got caught and was beaten up by the public. With a few cases of death caused by snatch thiefs, I don't think the public will care if there is one less snatch thief around.

It is unfortunate that Sugumaran was beaten to death. What if, while you stop at a traffic light, some guy with a hammer bangs your car? You then step on the gas and hit him and unfortunately he didn't survive.

He happened to be mentally unstable but he was a "good boy". Should you be charged with murder?

Slumdog: This is another sad day for Malaysia. Another human life has been taken away so brutally without compassion, remorse or contrition. No justice but mob mentality which decide to be judge, jury and executioner.

Once again, we find Umno's men in blue right in the thick of things. Why didn't the police stop the lynch mob from assaulting Sugumaran? They seemed to encourage it.

Is it standard operating procedure (SOP) for the police to allow the public to dispense justice summarily? Is it SOP for the police to throw turmeric powder on the face of a suspect?

The police officer who stood on Sugumar's neck until he stopped struggling must answer for his extreme actions, including the other three officers who may have contributed to Sugumaran's death.

Saminathan Munisamy: Beware the PDRM's new weapon - turmeric powder.

Akutuan: I don't think this has to do with race. I want to believe that the police and the public got carried away by their actions.

How I wish when someone called for help, these same people would extend their help instead of hitting someone who is handcuffed and unable to defend himself. This is our Malaysian mentality and it is a big problem.

RAW: Even if Sugumar had gone amok, the job of the police was to keep the situation under control and to help him to calm down.

Mentally ill people need help. They see the world differently from ‘normal' people and sometimes do strange things because they feel threatened (though illogically) by what is around them.

As I have written before, assuming the witness' account is true, there is absolutely no justification to beat him up to death with the turmeric powder on his face after he was handcuffed.

But then what can we expect from some police officers in dealing with mentally ill people, when they (the police officers) are incapable of dealing professionally with people in general?

Hang Tuah PJ: When you rub turmeric powder to the face, it will burn, your eyes will burn and you will automatically want to rub your face and eyes with your hands. This is reflex action.

Now your hands are tied behind your back; what will you do? Struggle, isn't it? My God, Sugu was mentally handicapped. This is like killing an innocent child.

Borg Kinaulu: So we get a glimpse of how and why so many people suffered sudden death in police custody syndrome.

Perhaps the police investigation would find that Sugumaran died from an unfortunate accident such as jumping off the trishaw out of shame for his crime, or tripping over a piece of tree branch and have a heart attack due to his poor health.

Even though it happened in a public place with many eyewitnesses whose accounts of the event need to be orchestrated, there are still many possibilities.

If it happened in custody, the possibilities are even more endless but the post-mortem will always find that the victims died of heart failure.

Yes, he died because his heart had stopped beating. If his heart is still beating he won't be dead. Can't argue with that.


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