Tuesday November 29, 2005
Special inquiry to probe ear squat issue
SUBANG: An independent body will be set up immediately to investigate the recent case of a woman, believed to be a Chinese national, ordered to perform ear squats in the nude in a police lockup.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had been briefed on the case and decided that an independent inquiry must be carried out.
Speaking to reporters on returning from Malta at the Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) base here, Abdullah said the names of the people to sit in the proposed body had been shortlisted.
“I will speak to them to find out whether they are willing to be members of the body,” Bernama quoted Abdullah, who had been in Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), as saying.
On who would be heading the body, the Prime Minister said he was still considering it as “there are many (people) in (my) mind” at the moment.
MPs have welcomed the setting up of the independent committee, with Backbenchers Club president Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad saying it would assist the police in putting their house in order.
“However, you must take cognisance of the fact that the Inspector-General of Police is also doing his part to reform the force,” he said.
Shahrir said the independent committee could take members from the Royal Commission on the Police which had recently completed its investigations.
He added that the move to set up the committee should not lead to police bashing but should benefit the force.
Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the setting up of the committee was good, but a stronger stand would be more appropriate based on the circumstances of the case.
“Nonetheless, it is a clear message from the Prime Minister to repudiate the Deputy Inspector-General of Police’s statement which exonerates the police personnel who ordered the stripping and ear squats,” he said
Teresa Kok, the DAP MP for Seputeh, who made public the existence of the video clip last week, welcomed the Government’s move, adding that the names of the committee members and the body's findings should be made public.
“However, the most important move is for the Government to accept and implement the 125 recommendations by the Royal Commission as soon as possible, especially on the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission,” she said.
Malaysian Society for Transparency and Integrity president Datuk Param Cumaraswamy concurred with her with regard to the implementation of the Royal Commission's suggestions.
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