Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bukit Aman "lost" to Kg Taman Aman: A victory for all victims of police brutalities

11 years ago, I was beaten up badly by the FRU of the police force when I was trying to help the residents of Kg Taman Aman, Petaling Jaya, whose houses were being demolished.

Dr Syed Husin Ali (President of Party Rakyat Malaysia at that time) and his wife Puan Sabariah were with me when the ugly incident took place on 18 September 1995 at around 9am in the morning. I was then the National Secretary of DAP Socialist Youth.

I have wanted the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor and OCPD of Petaling Jaya Datuk Johar Che Din to apologize to me and also take disciplinary actions against the FRU commander ASP Suleiman and those who have used brutal force on me but to no avail.

I have no choice but to bring the matter to courts two years after the incident. I would not have sued both the IGP and PJ OCPD if they have apologized to me.

The case was dragged on for nine years and finally On Tuesday, 11 July 2006, I was awarded a total of RM 21,220 in damages by the Sessions court judge Latifah Mohd Tahar.

She ordered the defendants to pay RM3, 000 in general damages, RM 18,000 in aggravated damages and RM220 in specific damages, plus cost and interest.

"Although the police were given powers to execute their duties, no one is above the law," she said.

She also described the FRU's action was "melampau" (too much, overreacted).

However, Latifah said she was not awarding exemplary damages because the defendants' action cannot be categorized as an act of arbitrary or contravenes the Constitution. I beg to differ on this point of contention.

I must thank my councils Gobind Singh Deo and A Magesan of Karpal Singh & Co. for putting up a great performance in both cross examinations and submission of my case. Gobind has taken up my case on pro bono basis out of comradeship, friendship and solidarity. I must also thank all members and well-wishers who have given their support and encouragement to me throughout the trial.

I have described the victory as a victory for me and all other victims of police brutalities when I was asked to comment to the reporters outside the courts.

The message sent out by the judge is crystal clear- the police cannot simply beat up any civilian in the course of their duties.

I also hope that the court's decision would go a long way in helping to reduce police brutalities in future and Malaysia could become a safer place for all Malaysians.

For living without fear is a basic human right.

And I hope the PDRM would not appeal* to the higher courts as 11 years is already "too long" a delay for justice.

And Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

*Note: I was informed by my council A. Magesan that the PDRM has decided not to appeal. You can ask me for a drink the next time you see me:-)


Blogger sf said...

hey ronnie, congratulations. Wa, you finally won after so many years. Tried to call you but don't have your phone number. From your ex-colleague

5:07 PM  
Blogger Rufus said...

"Dr Syed Husin Ali (President of Party Rakyat Malaysia at that time) and his wife Puan Sabariah were with me when the ugly incident took place on 18 September 2006 at around 9am in the morning."

You have a typo on the date!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Rustam Saifudin Johar said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:01 AM  

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