Police excessive use of force, manhandling and arrest of 17 in peaceful demonstration presenting memorandum on police brutality most deplorable and presents an immediate test of credibility of Police Royal Commission
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The police brutality, excessive use of force, spraying of chemically-laced water cannon, the manhandling of peaceful demonstrators and arrest of 17 people in the presentation of a memorandum on police brutality at Bukit Aman Federal Headquarters yesterday is most deplorable, confirming the police propensity towards strong-armed responses including brutalities without respect or regard to human rights.
It presents the Police Royal Commission headed by the former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin Mohamad with an immediate test of its credibility and relevance.
DAP calls on the Royal Commission to convene an emergency public hearing on the blatant and flagrant police misbehaviour and misconduct yesterday, which seemed to be a message of open defiance to the call by the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for a sensitive force which understands and respects human rights.
The peaceful demonstrators outside Bukit Aman posed no threat to public security under any circumstances, and there can be no justification whatsoever for the excessive use of police force, such as the spraying of chemically-laced water cannon, police manhandling and arrest of peaceful demonstrators.
If such excessive and flagrant use of the police force could take place so soon after the establishment of the Police Royal Commission to improve the public image of the police and in the final run-up to the eleventh national general election, public confidence in Abdullah’s pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, people-oriented and sensitive public service including the police and the ability of the Police Royal Commission to usher in meaningful police reforms have suffered grave damage if remedial actions are not immediately taken by Abdullah and the Royal Commission.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman