• EDICT Malaysia

Sarawak Police Commisioner Datuk Aidi Ismail’s Response is Unacceptable

1. EDICT is shocked and disappointed with the statement given by Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail today with regard to the negligence and carelessness of the police, which had resulted in the rape of a minor detainee.

2. EDICT finds the statement by the Sarawak Police Commissioner to be unacceptable and is a disgrace to the Royal Malaysian Police Force as a professional enforcement agency that has utmost integrity, ethics for the upholding of the law.

3. With reference to the statement (as reported in FMT dated 18th January 2020), he mentions that the CCTV cameras in the lock-up had not been functioning and as such, could not be of any assistance as to what had happened. We question as to how can a Police Commissioner not know nor be unaware of the safety features of all detention centres under his care? Is the Sarawak Police Commissioner not aware that the government in May 2013 had made it mandatory to place CCTV cameras in all lockups in order to ensure detainee movements are recorded. This ‘kill two birds with one stone’ is an attempt by the Government to not only ensure the safety of the detainees but also to prevent unwanted allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by the police. Recordings from the CCTV would be invaluable to verify should there be any validity to any abuse allegations or deaths to detainees while in police custody. Is the Sarawak Police Commissioner also not in the know that CCTV recordings are vital in any criminal investigation process nor its worth to secure convictions in a trial?

4. What was more embarrassing is that this case had involved a minor detainee raped due to his police officers’ direct negligence and it appears from his remarks to have taken the matter very lightly by him as the state’s police commissioner. In this case, he had instructed his deputy to investigate. We are wondering why a police taskforce from outside Sarawak not be formed for the purposes of transparency and preventing biasness, not tasked to investigate this case? This should have been carried out in order to regain public faith and confidence. At this point we would like to refer to Ganga Gowri lawan Pendakwa Raya (2012) MLRHU 1662 case whereby High Court Judge Datuk Kamardin Hashim had decided inter alia as follows :-

Akhirnya, saya ingin membuat pemerhatian bahawa seorang pegawai penyiasat bagi kes-kes kematian semasa dalam tahanan pihak polis, adalah wajar pegawai penyiasat daripada balai polis atau IPD yang lain menjalankan siasatan. Lebih-lebih lagi sekiranya dalam kes kematian tersebut terdapat tohmahan bahawa pegawai atau anggota balai polis yang sama dikatakan terlibat dengan kematian simati tersebut. Ini adalah supaya siasatan tersebut dilihat lebih transperen, berintegriti serta meyakinkan semua pihak terutama ahli keluarga kepada simati. eLaw Citation: [2012] MLRHU 1662

5. EDICT is also of the view that the Sarawak Police Commissioner did not respond to our queries with regards the minor detainee’s arrest procedure which we had highlighted in our previous media statement. This clearly indicates that the police had not adhered to the Child Act 2002 in this case. Amongst the concerns raised were:

i. No female officer had been placed with the minor girl,

ii. Had allowed the child to be among adult detainees, and

iii. Had placed the child in the lock-up without any compelling, cogent valid reasons.

6. Based on the facts and contexts of the case, as per the media statement given by the Sarawak Police Commissioner, EDICT considers this case to have raised many doubts and questions as to how the Royal Malaysian Police Force; especially in Sarawak, carry out their duties as mandated by law thus eroding public confidence.

7. In the circumstances we would like to urge the Sarawak Police Commissioner to resign with immediate effect based on his failures to uphold his duties and for the crime permitted to be committed against the minor in this case. We strongly call for all State Police Commissioners to be steadfast and unrelenting for strict adherence to the law and proper procedures in carrying out their duties. They must be cognisant of what is needed in all lock-ups under their care, especially the ones that involve detainees’ safety. Lame excuses by the Sarawak Police Commissioner like CCTV recordings are not available, and asking subordinates to investigate a case that has the nation’s attention, has clearly shown his inability and raises serious doubts as to his credibility in carrying out his duties as a State Police commissioner.


18 Jan 2021

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