Sunday 12 June 2011

Moral of story - never provoke the police

'It is an extreme act to lock someone up for three days without giving him the right to inform his family or lawyer.'

Three days in lock-up for not wearing seatbelt

David Dass: This was clearly wrong. The police had no right to detain Hiew Kok Ming for three days. Not wearing a seatbelt is not an arrestable offence. Asking a police officer for his authority to take Hiew's identity card and driving licence is not obstructing the police. Even taking his photograph is not an offence.

The police officers involved were abusing their authority. They should be punished. It is essential that police officers demonstrate discipline and restraint in the exercise of their duties. They are armed and an absence of restraint and discipline can result in their firearms being discharged unnecessarily with tragic consequences.

When I was young, the police were respected. They were always courteous and respectful. And I dare say that most of them are still the same. But the police officers involved in this incident should be firmly told what the law is and faced disciplinary action.

It is an extreme act to lock someone up for three days without giving him the right to inform his family or lawyer.

Ong Guan Sin: At the end of the three-day remand, there was no charge or condition attached to Hiew's release. This shows an utter abuse of power in the most cowardice manner by the authorities who are supposed to protect the weak.

Polis Raja Di-Malaysia is indeed the right name today. In fact, the royalty should feel the shame from lending the 'Di-Raja' to PDRM.

Patriot: I feel this is a political or publicity stunt. You break the law, so you are subject to pay the penalty. Do not aggravate the situation.

I notice that DAP is now on a warpath attacking everything and everyone after gaining some support. It would be wise not to exploit the political awakening of Malaysians. It may just backfire.

AnakPinang: Whether or not Hiew broke the law, clearly the police took the law into their own hands when they remanded him for three days.

If we have police and traffic officers who are given to detaining civilians for no just cause, it is clearly a case of abuse of power. Too many have died and many will die still if we don't voice our anger.

The police are the law onto themselves and there is no power to censure them. This is a dangerous situation where the rakyat have no one to turn to - not the police, not the justice system, not the authorities. It looks like we're on our own...

Ksn: Is it being said here that when a police officer gets angry, he or she can behave the way like in this case? God forbid.

Is it not the required quality of a good police officer to keep calm and enforce the law even under provocation? This policeman was a junior officer and even if Hiew was arrested and brought to the station wrongly, shouldn't the officer in charge ascertained the truth and released him immediately with an apology and a summons for not wearing the seatbelt?

A lot questions need to be answered here and corrective action implemented across the board in the police force. While enforcing the law, the police should always obey the law and cannot behave as though they are above the law.

The police seem out of control if the bank manager's story is true. The home minister is obviously sleeping on the job.

Wira: It is a breach of security that a police officer cannot be photographed in public places? If not, who gave the police sergeant the authority to arbitrarily lock up a person just because the latter was photographed? Malaysia is not a police state.

Anticommunalist: First the Indians, now the Chinese, next the Malays. It looks like the Umno government is truly multiracial - A Kugan, Teoh Beng Hock and Aminulrashid Amzah.

Onyourtoes: I don't care much whether Hiew is arrogant or not. The fact is the police, when exercising power, are abusing it. They expect us to be submissive, admitting wrong even if we are right, and maybe expecting us to 'negotiate' our way out.

On what probable cause can the police put someone in the lock-up for three days without informing him the reason and allowing him to call his family or lawyer?

Swipenter: Remember Jensen Chia Buang Hing? He had it much worse than Hiew. He got bashed up real bad, robbed and threatened to be framed for drug peddling for not having a valid road tax.

Vocal Malaysian: Next time, activate your mobile phone voice recorder. There is no need to say much - just speak aloud the officer's ID number, location of incident and what he wanted you for.

In times of stress, discretionary recording is important.

AntiRacial: Looking at the many cases of abuse of power by the authorities and the racial remarks by politicians without any action taken by the BN government, it is a clear indication that the government is reaching an end soon.

We need to act to save Malaysia so that it can become a peaceful and lawful country to live in. Vote out BN and choose a new government in next GE. It can't be the new government will be worse than the present. And even if the new government is worse, we still can vote back the current government after five years.

Bluemountains: Mr Hiew, it is not because you did not wear a seatbelt. It is because you did not respect 'ketuanan Melayu'. Got it?

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers.

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