Monday, November 28, 2005

Police Abuse MMS: Breaking It Down

Malaysians were shocked to hear the police were changing the focus of their investigations from the inappropriate 'routine' check of stripping down and performing ear squats to the person who took the infamous video clip and exposed the injustice, once again making whistle-blowers the scapegoat. Malaysians from all walks of life were united in condemning the move.

It has been shown that the stripping and the ear squats are illegal as there is no provision in the law of the land sanctioning those actions. Is the police force trying to act above the law? Calls for an independent body to continue in the investigations grows louder by the hour. If our prayers are answered and an independent body is formed for this matter, what do we want from them? Let's take a step back and reanalyse the situation.

1) The police points to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) to defend the strip-search and ear squats. The question is, does the SOP supercede the law of the land? Is it legal? If proven legal, is it appropriate?

2) The female police constable might have been following 'routine' procedure and cannot be faulted but who gave her the green-light? Who gave her the order? The problem here is that these actions are still demeaning and inappropriate, and some reform is needed to correct it.

3) Who recorded the video clip? Was it a civilian or a police officer? Why was the video clip made? Was it for personal pleasure or to expose the wrongdoings? Why is he/she the focus of the investigations when the whole fiasco is equally wrong? If it was someone filming for his own personal pleasure, will he hide behind the protective cloak of intending to expose the wrongdoings?

4) Is this really an isolated case like what they are trying to tell us? Were there really no profiling at all?

5) What action will be taken after the end of the investigations? Will those involved be punished appropriately or just receive a slap on the wrist? Will the police force be finally reformed for the benefit of all Malaysians?

We will see what happens if the independent enquiry ever materialises. If not, we can only sit and pray it will be an impartial and effective investigation.

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