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Why Cabinet did  not make a policy decision to endorse the Squatgate Commission recommendation to ban police nude ear-squat practice and other human rights violations?


Media Statement (1)
by Lim Kit Siang  

Parliament, Thursday): The Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police Squatgate scandal was most unsatisfactory, as it left the whole issue open-ended and hanging in the air.

Apart from deciding  to  make the Commission report  a public document on  Monday and to refer  all proposals related to the Criminal Procedure Code to a Select Committee which is studying amendments to the code, what is the stand of the Cabinet on the report?

Several questions crowd for answer.

Firstly, when will Malaysia graduate to “First World Mentality” where commission of inquiry reports are made public automatically and simultaneously they are presented to the appointing authorities, without having to go through the Cabinet as a censor?

It is no  business of the Cabinet to decide whether such a report should be made public.  The  business of the Cabinet  is to decide whether to accept the commission’s various recommendations.

Secondly, why did’nt the Cabinet take the policy decision endorsing  the Squatgate Commission’s recommendation to ban police nude ear-squat practice and other human rights violations?

New Straits Times on Tuesday had  carried the scoop that the Royal Inquiry Commission into the Police Squatgate scandal had condemned the police practice of forcing suspects to do nude squats while holding their ears, recommending that nude  squats should not be allowed.

NST reported that the Commission  also wanted  police personnel to be enlightened about human rights principles. However, it  said  properly-conducted body searches were acceptable.

Did the Cabinet meeting today discuss and endorse this proposal, and if not, what were the Ministers talking about during the agenda on  the police squatgate scandal?  Just about whether the report should be made public or not, which would appear to be a colossal waste of Cabinet time?

Thirdly, has the Cabinet directed the immediate end of the   police nude ear-squat practice or is it still allowed until further notice and action?

Fourthly, did the Cabinet discuss the delay in implementation of the first Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission Report submitted in May last year, especially as a second royal commission had proposed in a matter of seven months  the banning of police nude earsquats? 

Did any Cabinet Minister ask what has happened to the 125 recommendations of the first Dzaiddin  Commission to ensure a clean, efficient, professional world-class police service, and in particular its  most important recommendation on  the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)?

Fifthly, as  a special Royal Commission had been constituted into the Squatgate scandal, which had studied and compared the procedures of other Commonwealth countries as well as the United States in coming up with its recommendations on the best forms of police practices, will  the commission report be given proper weight and importance with a Cabinet decision that the commission recommendations be presented to Parliament for adoption when it meets on March 13?

I phoned the Parliament Secretary, Dato’ Abdullah bin Abdul Wahab this morning to inquire about the Commission report meant for distribution to MPs, but he has got no word whatsoever as to when he would get copies of the Report.

The Prime Minister’s Department or the Ministry of Internal Security should ensure that MPs could get copies of the Commission Report before the end of this week for study by concerned parliamentarians.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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