Police killings: Malaysians finally wake up

Justice For All

Modified 28 Apr 2010, 7:09 am

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Shooting of teen: Don't cover up, MP tells police .

Malaysia has finally woken up. Malaysia finally wakes up to the reality of the trigger-happy cops.

It has taken a shooting of a boy from the Malay heartland to bring home this message to the skeptical majority.

For years and years ans in spite of many citizens’ complaint as well lawyers’ and families’ frustration, the police have been brushing away allegations of reckless and needless shooting. Many families’ pleas with the government in the past have been met with derision as well as extreme labels such as the victims were allegedly ‘hardcore criminals’.

Lawyers who championed these matters in the past have been needlessly labeled ‘troublemakers’ and only the New Media gave such wanton shooting cases any credible coverage.

Why only now is it being brought to the front pages with MPs from both sides of the political divide crying out loud and ministers wanting to bring this matter to the cabinet level? Why only now?

There have been so many cases of citizens being shot after allegedly showing a knife at the police and as well as many cases of deaths in custody. How come no one made this much noise before? The answer is very obvious isn’t it?

This time, apparently, got parang and all. Really?

This is no different from the many other cases where the mothers and families claimed that their children had done no wrong and were in no way criminals but no one cared. Everyone just assumed that if he police shoot you, you must be guilty. P Uthayakumar has been saying the opposite for years.

The time has come for all shooting and custodial deaths to trigger an automatic inquiry either by a coroner or a public panel. That’s the only way forward.

This brings me the case of the actor Khaireyll Benjamin Ibrahim or Benjy who was rearrested after being released by the courts. Again, this is a standard police reaction to many court decisions in the past. Only difference is, since he the son of a celebrity and the papers have been giving wide coverage, the police made the very uncommon decision to have a press conference to explain. That was rarely done before.

I hope this is a sign of better things to come and the beginning of all involved to take note and make sure this sort of illegal police enforcement does not happen anymore no matter what colour you are.

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