Public Forum on Police Accountability

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Public Forum on Police Accountability
13 December 2014
Bayview Georgetown Hotel, Penang
Speech by Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng

• Christopher Leong, President of the Malaysian Bar
• Abdul Fareed Bin Abdul Gafoor, Chairman of the Penang Bar
• Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, Past-President of the Malaysian Bar, Member of the Royal Commission for Police Reform & Co-Chairperson of Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC
• Dato’ M. Ramachelvam, Co-Chairperson of Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC
• YB Dr. Afif Bahardin, Member of the Penang State Executive Committee
• Dato’ V. Sithambaram, Co-Chairperson of Bar Council Criminal Law Committee
• Yap Swee Seng, Representative from Suaram
• Members of the Bar
• Invited guests
• Ladies and Gentlemen
The Royal Commission to Enhance the Operations and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police published its report in May 2005 – 9 years ago - to address challenging issues facing the Police force, among which were the “widespread concerns regarding the high incidence of crime, perception of corruption in the Royal Malaysia Police, general dissatisfaction with the conduct and performance of police personnel and a desire to see improvements in the service provided by the police”.

In addition, the Royal Commission also identified that there were too many deaths in custody, the failure of the police to investigate them and the failure to hold inquests into these deaths. These were key concerns raised by members of the public, non-governmental organizations and international organisations.
The Royal Commission recommended the establishment of an Independent external oversight entity known as the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and who shall perform the following functions
• Receive and investigate complaints about PDRM and its personnel
• Prevent, detect and investigate corruption
• Prevent, detect serious misconduct in PDRM
• Propose measures to the Minister of Internal Security namely
o Improve police integrity
o Reduce misconduct
 “misconduct” includes police corruption, commission of criminal offence and non-compliance with legal and police regulations
o Build public confidence in PDRM

The status of IPCMC would be as an independent body established pursuant to an Act of Parliament, whereby the Royal Commission had also drafted the proposed bill.
The proposed IPCMC would consist of the following:
- 7 commissioners
- With a tenure that is limited to three years
- Members not from retired or serving police force
An Annual Report would be presented to the Parliament for updates, statistics and details of the matters looked into.
However, regrettably to date, the IPCMC has not been introduced despite the continued occurrence of deaths in custody, the high incidences of crime, the perception of corruption and the general dissatisfaction due to the conduct and performance of the police personnel. The recommendation made by the Royal Commission on the IPCMC has not accepted by the Government. Instead, Parliament passed the EAIC (Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission) which is a gross failure.

Years after Kugan's death under police custody in 2009, nothing has changed, even though the IGP Khalid Abu Bakar was liable to misfeasance according to the High Court. This failure to set up ICPMC costs human lives as shown by at least 13 in custodial deaths under police detention this year, of which 7 are in Penang. DAP believes that police custodial deaths can be reduced if there is an IPCMC.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 'No Answers, No Apology: Police Abuses and Accountability' report released in April this year in Kuala Lumpur revealed that just 7 percent of complaints against the police force between 2005 and 2012 reached a courtroom while more than half the cases has yet to be fully investigated.

From extrajudicial killings of teenagers to custodial deaths, threats to lawyers and assaults on journalists covering demonstrations, the report gives chilling and bloody first-person accounts of police abuse and misconduct. The report without a shadow of doubt further showed the urgency of setting up an external oversight body like IPCMC. But the government is still adamant in refusing to set up the IPCMC when such oversight body has been set up in many other countries.

The inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar said that the police were not in favour of the setting up of IPCMC last year because the terms in the proposal treated police like second-class citizens. He claimed that a policeman picked up for corruption does not have the right to defend himself in the IPCMC.

Let the lawyers here deal with the police's concerns that they will be denied justice so that we can set up the IPCMC to both defend the public from abuses by the very force that are supposed to protect them as well as uphold the basic concept that the police can be held to account under the law and that no one should be given the privilege to investigate or judge their own alleged wrongdoings.

The IPCMC can also help to prevent the police from being abused and misused for political reasons such as these actions taken against PPS our Voluntary Patrol Unit and double-standards in investigating Sedition Act against opposition leaders and dissidents whilst UMNO leaders who preach religious and racial hatred escape unpunished.

Witness the inaction against UMNO ex-Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim's dangerous lies accusing the Chinese community for burning the Quran through the Chinese's religious rituals, even though Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir had earlier announced, it was done by a mentally demented Malay Muslim, who had since been arrested and sent for medical treatment. Or Permatang Pauh UMNO Division Chief Datuk Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said's false claims that the Chinese economic strength was also due some of the time to the illegal activities of prostitution, gambling and entertainment outlets when even the Penang police had denied that there were any illegal activities.

I applaud the Bar Council and Penang Bar Committee for stepping up and taking the initiative to educate members of the public and society at large on the need for police accountability as there is not much publicity or understanding on why an independent body is needed to ensure a check and balance is in place for the law enforcement in this country.


Penang Adventist Hospital’s 90th Anniversary Appreciation Dinner

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Penang Adventist Hospital’s 90th Anniversary Appreciation Dinner
Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang
Thursday, 11 December 2014; 6.55pm

1. Let me begin by congratulating Penang Adventist Hospital on the occasion of your 90th anniversary this year.

2. Penang Adventist Hospital has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a ‘free clinic’, where the poor were ‘treated free’. Over the past 90 years, the hospital has transformed itself from the humble clinic with a mission to bring Western medicine to the Malayan community despite their different beliefs, to a tertiary healthcare facility that is much sought after by the Malaysian community and medical tourists the world over.

3. It is also heartening to note that Penang Adventist Hospital has throughout all these years, proudly continued with its tradition of helping the poor and sick. The hospital’s efforts in organising numerous charity fund-raising programmes such as the Cycle 4 Hearts event, and its collaboration with various organisations to work towards providing accessible healthcare services to people from all walks of life is indeed laudable.

4. Over the last few years, the healthcare sector has been growing steadily to become a crucial segment in the overall economy of Malaysia. Hence, it is vital for healthcare industry players to push further including improving citizens’ accessibility to quality healthcare.

5. Malaysia is currently ranked among the world’s top health tourism destinations, with over 60% of health tourists making Penang their preferred choice. A study by the American publication - International Living rated the country’s healthcare system third best out of 24 countries in its 2014’s Annual Global Retirement Index. The same study also named Penang as a medical centre of excellence.

6. Statistics from the Penang Health Association (PHA) revealed that Penang’s medical tourism recorded RM370 million in 2013. In 2012, the revenue was RM314 million, an increase of about 14 percent from the year before.

7. Let me congratulate Penang Adventist Hospital’s success at being conferred the “Highest Revenue for Healthcare Travellers, Northern Region, 2012” and the Overall Highest Revenue for Healthcare Travellers 2012” awards by the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

8. If one visits a private hospital in Penang, they will be amazed by the number of foreign patients seeking medical treatments here. This is due to factors such as – the quality of medical care offered by our healthcare professionals, the relatively affordable prices, as well as the “rest, relax and recuperate” opportunities available in Penang’s resort like nature.

9. Penang is currently Malaysia’s largest medical tourism destination, contributing nearly two thirds of the country’s receipt from that sector. To further enhance Penang’s position as one of the most preferred healthcare destinations, the Penang State Government hopes to work hand-in-hand with medical providers like Penang Adventist Hospital to continue delivering top-notch patient care not only to the locals or within the ASEAN region alone, but to patients the world over.

10. In closing, I would like to thank Dr Wesley Toh and the organising committee for inviting me share this milestone with you. Serve the local community and international visitors well in their healthcare needs.

11. On behalf of the State Government, we wish you a happy 90th Anniversary.

12. Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Tarikh : Khamis, 11hb Disember 2014 Waktu : 9.00 pagi - 1.00 tengahari*
Tempat : Dewan Auditorium C, Tingkat 5, KOMTAR

Saya amat berbesar hati kerana dapat bersama anda semua hari ini untuk acara penutupan rasmi kempen Penang Goes Orange 2014. Penang Goes Orange adalah kempen peringkat negeri pertama yang dianjurkan oleh Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang, untuk meningkatkan kesedaran dan mengambil tindakan bagi menghentikan Keganasan terhadap Wanita – atau VAW. Kempen ini dirancang khas bermula secara rasmi pada 25hb November 2014, iaitu Hari Antarabangsa untuk Membasmi Keganasan terhadap Wanita, dan berakhir semalam pada 10hb Disember 2014, iaitu Hari Hak Asasi Manusia.

Hakikatnya, hak wanita adalah hak asasi manusia – dan sebaliknya juga. Ini termasuk hak-hak seperti untuk hidup, bebas dari perhambaan dan penyeksaan, dilindungi undang-undang, bergerak secara bebas, dan sebagainya. Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat (atau Universal Declaration of Human Rights) mengingatkan kita bahawa 'semua umat manusia dan negara' – mahupun lelaki, wanita, kanak-kanak lelaki atau kanak-kanak perempuan – berhak sama kepada semua jenis hak dan kebebasan umum, pada bila-bila masa dan di mana-mana pun. Hakikat ini memang ditekankan dalam tema Hari Hak Asasi Manusia tahun ini, iaitu ‘Human Rights 365’. Ertinya, setiap hari adalah hari untuk mempertahankan dan melindungi hak asasi manusia.

Malangnya, keganasan dan pencabulan hak asasi kerap berlaku di Malaysia, dan biasanya wanita adalah orang yang menderita. VAW adalah salah satu bentuk pelanggaran hak asasi wanita yang paling sistemik dan lazim berlaku. Setiap hari, kita membaca berita tentang kes keganasan rumah tangga, penderaan seksual atau jenayah jalanan di mana mangsa wanita mengalami kecederaan – atau dalam kes yang teruk, meninggal dunia. Kita berasa takut apabila memikirkan keselamatan orang tersayang, sahabat-sahabat dan rakan-rakan sejawat. Yang dahsyatnya, kanak-kanak pun tidak terkecuali, seperti dalam kes-kes keganasan, penderaan seksual dan rogol – dan perkahwinan kanak-kanak juga.

Mengenai isu perkahwinan kanak-kanak, saya ingin menegaskan bahawa Perkara 16 Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat menyatakan bahawa "perkahwinan boleh dilaksanakan hanya dengan persetujuan bebas dan sepenuhnya oleh pihak yang bercadang untuk berkahwin." Selain itu, Seksyen 375 Kanun Keseksaan mentakrifkan Rogol Statutori sebagai keadaan di mana seorang lelaki menjalinkan hubungan seks dengan seorang wanita di bawah umur 16 – dengan atau tanpa izinnya. Dalam erti kata lain, undang-undang Malaysia menganggap bahawa kanak-kanak tidak berupaya memberikan kerelaan dalam apa jua keadaan. Secara mudah, perkahwinan kanak-kanak adalah jenayah – dan ia melanggar hak kanak-kanak perempuan kepada kesihatan, pendidikan, dan masa depan yang yang dipilihnya sendiri secara bebas. Pihak mahkamah, polis dan pihak berkuasa mesti menyedari hakikat ini, dan tidak menjadikan perkahwinan sebagai "fasal pelepasan” (atau ‘escape clause’) untuk pesalah.

Jenis pencabulan hak asasi manusia seperti ini adalah hasil daripada prasangka budaya dan masyarakat, yang bukan sahaja menganggap wanita dan kanak-kanak perempuan sebagai kurang bernilai tetapi juga cuba untuk mengawal kehidupan mereka. Saya percaya bahawa kita di Malaysia bukan sahaja perlu berusaha mengurangkan keganasan dan seks jenayah, tetapi juga untuk menggalakkan kesaksamaan gender dan perubahan pemikiran radikal dalam masyarakat. Masa depan Negeri Pulau Pinang tidak akan makmur tanpa adanya penyertaan penuh serta maruah kedua-dua jantina, dalam semua bidang kehidupan. Untuk tujuan ini, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang akan melaksanakan dasar-dasar, program dan perkhidmatan awam yang akan memastikan bahawa wanita dan kanak-kanak perempuan diberi peluang dan penghormatan yang sewajarnya – dalam masyarakat, di rumah, di tempat kerja dan bidang pentadbiran.

Dalam melangkah ke hadapan, Kerajaan Negeri berazam untuk mengurangkan kemiskinan dan ketidaksaksamaan sosial, terutama bagi kumpulan rentan seperti ibu tunggal, kanak-kanak dan warga emas. Kami mengambil maklum bahawa Pekali Gini Pulau Pinang, yang mengukur tahap ketidaksaksamaan, telah menurun daripada 0.419 pada tahun 2009 kepada 0.37 pada tahun 2012, iaitu satu angka yang menggalakkan. Dengan mempertingkatkan program Agenda Ekonomi Saksama (AES) pada tahun 2015, kami berharap untuk melihat wanita dan kanak-kanak perempuan mencapai tahap kebebasan kewangan yang lebih baik – yang akan menjadi kunci kepada kebebasan dan maruah mereka.

Pada tahun 2011, Kerajaan Negeri telah menubuhkan Perbadanan Pembangunan Wanita Pulau Pinang (PWDC) dengan geran tahunan untuk menggalakkan kesaksamaan gender dan keadilan sosial di Negeri Pulau Pinang.
Saya juga berbesar hati untuk memaklumkan bahawa Kerajaan Negeri akan terus menyokong pertubuhan komuniti dan NGO-NGO yang membela hak-hak dan kesejahteraan wanita dan kanak-kanak di Negeri Pulau Pinang. Sejak tahun 2009, Kerajaan Negeri telah menyediakan geran untuk menubuhkan dan mengurus Pusat Perkhidmatan Wanita (atau PPW) di Seberang Perai.

Sebagai penutup, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada PWDC, rakan kongsi kempennya, agensi-agensi kerajaan dan semua NGO wanita dan kanak-kanak yang bekerja keras untuk menghentikan Keganasan Terhadap Wanita (VAW). Walaupun kempen Penang Goes Orange 2014 sedang berakhir, kerja kita semua tidak berakhir di sini. Mari kita terus menjunjung semangat tema Hari Hak Asasi tahun ini, iaitu Human Rights 365 – dalam erti kata lain, membela hak asasi manusia setiap hari; dan membela kebebasan, kesaksamaan, keadilan dan maruah semua lelaki dan wanita, kanak-kanak lelaki dan kanak-kanak perempuan di Negeri Pulau Pinang dan dunia.

Saya dengan ini merasmikan acara penutup PENANG GOES ORANGE 2014. HENTIKAN KEGANASAN, HORMATI WANITA.