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Call on  the Police to break its week-long silence and declare its stand on the Squatgate Commission recommendation for  immediate discontinuation of nude ear-squats for detainees in police custody


Media Statement (1)
by Lim Kit Siang  

Parliament, Monday): The Dzaiddin Police Squatgate Commission, whose  318-page report was made public today,  strongly censured the police while making eight recommendations.

In the  final chapter of its  Report,  the Dzaiddin Commission drew  quite damning conclusions about police efficiency and professionalism when it “noted an overall lack of publicly accessible information on Standard Operating Procedures of the PDRM, the precise scope of its powers over detainees, its methods of internal governance as well as recourses available to those who wish to make complaints against police officers”.


It said:  “This deficiency points towards a lack of transparency and accountability of the PDRM to the Malaysian public not just in terms of bodily searches carried out on detainees but also in its very function as law enforcer and peace keeper of the nation.”


Among the Commissions’ strictures of the police are:


  • The PDRM remains resistant to change and insensitive towards the most fundamental of human rights and dignity.


  • “There must first be a shift in the mindset of those within the PDRM so that there is an unwavering commitment to work towards a police culture that is more effective, responsibility-drive and human rights-sensitive.”


It is an indictment on the police leadership that seven months after the submission of the first Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission Report and its 125 recommendations to create a clean, efficient, professional and world-class police service, a second Dzaiddin Royal Commission on the police nude-earsquat scandal had not found any significant improvement towards the creation of a police culture which is “more effective, responsiblity-drive and human rights-sensitive” as to elicit such damning conclusions.


The second Dzaiddin Royal Commission’s indictment of the police leadership and culture is fully vindicated by the indifferent police response to the Squatgate Commission Report and recommendations in the past week.


The first of the Squatgate Commission’s eight recommendations called for the immediate discontinuation of the police naked earsquat practice on police detainees as it is not only unlawful but a serious infringement of human rights and dignity.


The Commission gave ten reasons for its recommendation that the “degrading and humiliating” practice of “the police ordering detainees to do the ketuk tetampi in the nude while in detention be discontinued immediately”, including:


  • There are no provisions in the IGSO (Inspector-General Standing Orders), Perintah Tetap Ketua Polis Daerah, Lockup Rules and any legislation permitting a detainee to be stripped of all clothing and to do the ketuk ketampi in the nude.


  • It has been indiscriminately practiced by PDRM;


  • It violates the very essence of human conscience.


  • Violation of Article 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it tantamount to inhuman or degrading treatment.


  • Breach of Principle 1 and 6 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (adopted by United Nations  General Assembly Resolution 43/173 on 9 December 1988). “It is like stripping away one’s dignity. Human dignity is inviolable. Hence it must be respected and protected.”


  • Breach of Article 2 and 5 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 34/169 of 17 December 1979), whereby the woman lance corporal concerned cannot justify her action to the victim to do the ketuk ketampi ten times in the nude by saying that it was pursuant to the order of her superior.


The Police has so far given a vague and meaningless response to the Squatgate Commission report.  Deputy Secretary-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan said on Thursday that the police was reviewing its procedures but declined to comment if nude ear squats would be abolished.


Such an attitude makes nonsense of the Squatgate Commission’s first recommendation for the “immediate discontinuance” of the police nude earsquats, raising the question whether the second royal police commission’s report would be acted on seriously by the police  - as the first royal police commission submitted seven months ago had already castigated police naked ear-squats as infringement of human rights and dignity and should have been abolished by now.


I call on the Police to break its week-long silence and declare its stand on the Squatgate Commission’s recommendation for  immediate discontinuation of nude ear-squats for detainees in police custody.


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

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