Malaysiakini can play a lead role to stop the alleged Police Brutality and abuse to Malaysians?

I refer to the Malaysiakini’s article on “Police brutality, torture and murder.

The article in Malaysiakini yesterday will certainly help people to understand the real concern of Indians over the police brutality in this country. And with this one doesn’t have to search for anymore evidence to prove his allegation.

In the report, Malaysiakini named the victims. Those victims included are Kugan Ananthan (believed to be murdered), B.Prabhakar (victim of torture), Tharma Rajen (died in police custody- suspected involvement of police), M.Ragupathy (died during police custody due to lack of medical attention that he badly needed), Sundra Raju (died in Police custody), Vivashanu Pillai (arrested but police claim he escaped when body was found mutilated) and the list goes on. Regardless of their background, these victims were believed to have been treated worst than animals by the authorities.

Over the years, leaders, NGO activists and many others from various segments have made serious attempts, calling on the police and government to prevent these brutalities. However, thus far the calls and appeals have never been taken seriously. In cases where evidence surfaced to show police brutality, very often than not we saw ministers and government officials competing to defend the perpetrators by ignoring people and human rights as the basis.

So where do we go from here? The author in her report also identifies the reasons for such outcome is lack of independence, accountability and transparency on the part of the police in its investigation of allegations of police brutality.

While I believe it’s not easy for us to go after the police each time we encounter police brutalities, there is one option I think we should seriously look into making the police more accountable and professional. This thought came to me after reading a purported confession statement (not in Malaysiakini) made by a police officer in Malaysia. If a police officer who is duty bound to protect us could betray our trust to murder one of us, all for a reward of RM50, 000 what guarantee do we have on our lives, let alone criminals and suspects of wrongdoing.

So, the truth is there seems to be an inclination to pecuniary benefits and people are willing to go against their faith and law to achieve them and in cases of paid uniformed officers it makes no difference. In the absence of true professionalism and lack of good governance people could become victims easily. Thus, having understood the “money power” in such instances, wouldn’t it make sense if the rakyat throw pecuniary benefits (offer of reward) to “inside informers” so that we could bring the bad apples to book? It may sound as crazy idea nevertheless it could be one of the effective measures considering the fact that we are all materialistic animals.

I’m referring to monetary rewards. A reward that many in the blue uniform cannot resist, what’s more in this case, it is for a good cause. There are over 26 million people in Malaysia. Creating a reward fund of RM 1million is not difficult if we really want. A reward of RM250, 000 to RM 500,000 for anyone who could provide strong evidence that leads to the apprehension of corrupt police officers will create fear and jittery among the potential corrupts to abuse their power. They know with such huge monetary reward available for informers who could be amongst them, their position and freedom will be at stake as someone out there could be watching over them all the time.

How can the plan be implemented?

The measure I’m suggesting here is to protect all Malaysians although Indians make the most for now. Malaysiakini, being the most outspoken media has earned the trust of most Malaysians and hence, it has the moral ground to initiate “A Reward Fund” for the purpose of rewarding informers who could help us uncover abuses and corruption in the system. Let us treat this as a national service where aspiring Malaysians come together to contribute their nominal share in an attempt to help this country maintain law and order.

Two steps to raise the needed fund.

1) Contribution from Individuals and corporations and Associations.

2) Through News Dailies. All major dailies of all languages (Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil) could join hands. The dailies could make their effort known through announcement and charge an additional 0.50sen for their Sunday edition. I’m sure in a single day, the RM1 million fund (could be much more) could be realized.

The entire collected amount could be channeled to a “trust committee” that comprises people of highest integrity, or bodies such as Bar Council or Transparency International to manage and execute the reward strategy implementation. (Malaysiakini must have a role in the committee).

This measure, if could become an effective tool in apprehending wrongdoers in the “uniform” institution, may help us prevent abuses, corruption and negligence both in government and governmental institutions. It could also provide the victims and their kin with opportunities to institute legal suits against the responsible parties. Above all, the publicity, bad reputation and loss of integrity as a result of revelation of abuses will be something the institutions and government will be unwilling to barter in protecting a few bad ones among them.

On my part, I pledge RM100.00 to Malaysiakini or others should they wish to initiate this effort. Let’s take it upon ourselves; no violation, no vengeance, no breaking law and no discrimination.

It’s worth rewarding people for the sake of Justice.