Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Media statement by Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Friday 30th April 2021 in Penang:

Minister of Home Affairs Hamzah Zainuddin must make an official statement on an inquest into the death of Ganapathy in police custody after damning autopsy reports from Kuala Lumpur Hospital Pathology showed injuries inflicted on his legs and shoulders.

10 days after the tragic passing of Ganapathy in police custody, we have yet to read of a statement by the Minister of Home Affairs Hamzah Zainuddin on conducting an inquiry or even an inquest into another case of a death in custody.

Instead, Gombak police chief Arafat Tarawe is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon on Ganapathy’s death.

According to last year’s Parliamentary answer, from January 2020 to 30th September 2020, 9 people have died in police custody, 296 in prison and 30 in immigration depots. 9 custodial deaths. That is one every single month.

In spite of a written Parliamentary reply on improvements to prevent custodial deaths such as managing inmates who are unwell, increased patrolling around cells at night, preparing treatment rooms for sick inmates and medical officers as well as increased number of staff or officers to manage inmates.

Where is the Key Performance Index for these pledges that were made by the Home Ministry through a Parliamentary reply? Or was it lip service or merely a non-binding Parliamentary reply to Members of Parliament?

Hamzah Zainuddin who almost has a knee jerk reaction when making statements on the subject migrants and refugees – even to the extent of using them as pawns in his campaign speech in the Sabah by-election and even an open admission about a voice recording of him discussing senior police appointments.

But total silence on the custodial death of Ganapathy.

In a Parliamentary reply last August 2020, 684 lockup’s all over the country would be equipped with CCTVs but there is no news as of this minute on the status of these CCTVs. These rented CCTVs were approved in the 2020 Budget under special approval by the the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) and is in the tender process.

It is almost May in 2021 and there is no official statement on the status of the CCTVs for the 684 lock-ups in the country.

Malaysians are demanding for an inquest into the custodial death of Ganapathy and Malaysians, in solidarity with the family of Ganapathy have a right to know what happened in those crucial moments that led to his painful death and on the status of these 684 CCTVs for police lock-ups all over the country.

Be accountable, honourable and respectful to the demands of the family of Ganapathy and Malaysians at large who are calling for an end to custodial deaths and the setting up of a commission – whether IPCMC or IPCC.

Abuse of police power must stop now.

Kasthuri Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP