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I almost could not believe when I read this morning about a cop asking money from relatives of a detained custom officer to meet and bring food to him (custom officer). This is what I call one “bloody cop”. But wait this asking for money by cops guarding locked-up persons is not only happening in Johor. IGP and MACC please take note, this corrupt practice is widespread in many lock-ups in Malaysia. If only those victims can come forward to tell their story!

I visited an East Malaysia capital city in 2009. My friend and his wife were having a difficult time with their son who was brought to a police lock-up along with his friends after the police raided one of the entertainment joints in the early hours of the morning. My friend ARA said there were more than 30 young people being rounded up suspected of being drug-positive.

When his son was finally released after spending two nights at the lock-up, the boy told of a harrowing story of how each of them have to pay RM250 to have outside foods brought in to them and they also have to pay if they wanted to use phones!! In fact a few detainees from wealthy well-connected families were there a few hours only after their parents gave a lot of money to the dirty cops for their early release.

I found it hard to believe the story. How come the cops are so desperate to take advantage of helpless people? Gosh, they are so heartless! They are the proverbial vultures. They are corrupt to the core. Why are their superiors turning a blind eye?

In the case of the detained custom officer in Johor, My oh My! The man is also a uniformed government staff. obviously the dirty cop doesn’t know what constitute corruption. This is shameful. Now I wickedly wish the arrested dirty cop’s family will have to pay also to get his foods cooked by his wife and for her to meet with him! I know two wrongs does not make a right. But sometimes you are so angry that reason fails to resonate.

I like the look of the new IGP compared to his previous two predecessors. He may appear kind though he may be hard. I hope he would take measures to rid of this practice of cop scrounging on detainees. If family wants to give foods to detainees, let them take the responsibility of potential complications such as diarrhoea and let the detainees eat with the cops around rather than the cops taking money and only then allowing the foods to be brought in!

Corruption among the uniformed staff is at a scary level in Malaysia. What are the politicians doing about it? The least they could do is to give undivided support for PM Najib in his quiet war against corruption.

If they could shame the eight immigration officers being charged for corruption by publishing their pictures, the same need to be done to the corrupt policemen! By the way have you ever seen the faces of the two policemen accused of murdering Altantuya all those months of their trial? Well, I haven’t despite reading newspapers almost everyday. Do not be selective as the people will end up resenting the government of the day for its failure to protect the rights of the detainees and address unfairness. Even mentally ill persons have rights under the law, what more those who are not.

The MACC-arrested persons would be ok once MACC have their own lock-ups but what happens to those arrested by the police themselves?

The STAR report which raises my ire is re posted below:

Saturday April 9, 2011

Cop arrested for trying to cash in on Customs detainee

Reports by LOURDES CHARLES, NELSON BENJAMIN, FLORENCE A. SAMY, TEH ENG HOCK, LESTER KONG, YUEN MEIKENG, STEVEN DANIEL and AUSTIN CAMOENS

JOHOR BARU: A policeman was arrested for trying to cash in on a Customs officer detained during a recent sweep by asking for money and food from their relatives.

A lance-corporal at the Ayer Molek detention centre allegedly asked for several hundred ringgit and foodstuff for more than a dozen people from a woman several days ago.

The policeman, in his 30s, was said to have demanded the items to allow the wife to meet with her husband, who was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis-sion (MACC) in connection with the Customs swoop nationwide.

The policeman, upon hearing that the MACC was aware of his demand, surrendered to the commission, which has since started investigations under Section 16 of the MACC Act 2009.

The Act provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and maximum fine of RM10,000, or five times the value of the bribe.

Johor MACC director Simi Abdul Ghani confirmed the arrest and said that it was their procedure to place suspects at the Ayer Molek detention centre, as they did not have their own lock-up yet.

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