‘Samseng’ Nation March 13, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Human Rights, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.
(plagiarised from Thai Tourism Board’s catch-phrase).
I was emailed this video earlier in the morning. I’d missed the news last week, and only read it today.
Pua Chia Teng, a tailor, was dragged out from his shop by the Klang Municipal Council officers for someone else’s parking ticket offence. Once at the police station, he said he was only released after coughing up a RM 1,000 bail. (See news story here)
One should be quite baffled as to what offence has Pua been charged with.
Furthermore, it is uncommon for police stations to issue monetary-based bail, in order to prevent corruption. Monetary-based bails are decided by the courts and only when one is charged for an offence, the bailor opens a passbook account and gives it to the court as proof of payment.
At police stations, it should be ‘jamin mulut’ or police bail, usually with one surety i.e. a person to vouch that you would turn up when requested by the police. (Remember this, boys and girls!)
Most importantly – will MPK recompense and apologise to Pua?
I think we all kinda know the answer to that, considering our past experiences.
We’re becoming a samseng* nation – one where there is an apparent breakdown in law and order – where law enforcement officers and government officials are part of the problem.
Malaysia is hardly exemplary for its track record on accountability.
When a murder suspect collapsed and died in the office of a South Korean prosecutor during questioning, the Justice Minister and Prosecutor-General immediately tendered their resignations. Then President Kim Dae Jung made a public apology to the nation and took steps to prevent this.
Here, no Prime Minister, Minister and the police have ever apologised to families or the nation over our appalling rate of deaths in custody. In fact, no police officer has ever been charged or reprimanded for these deaths.
Instead, those responsible for or wax lyrical about upholding ‘law and order’ appear to be above the law.
They should at least have the good graces to stand down / go on leave / resign. But instead, it’s business as usual for VVIPs and VIPs, with the Prime Minister’s full backing, while the ‘little people’ such as Pua, get the sharp end of the stick.
And you wonder how on earth can MPK officers behave in this recalcitrant manner, and get away with it.
Shades of the truth
Citizen Nades – By R. Nadeswaran (14 March 2007, The Sun)
The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal. – Mark Twain
“Initial investigations showed that our parking attendant was obstructed from issuing a compound on Jalan Hassan. The parking attendant claimed he was shoved and this caused emotions to run high. To avoid any untoward incident, the parking attendant decided to escort the complainant to the Klang police headquarters to lodge a report.” – Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Abd Bakir Zin
IT was never the intention to equate both the above-named gentlemen, either in status, intellect or knowledge. That would be unfair. On the contrary, one quote complements the other. And it would only be fair to state that perhaps (and only perhaps, at least for the moment), Abd Bakir may have misunderstood the meaning of the word “escort” in the context he used it.
Most dictionaries describe the word as:
- the act of accompanying someone or something in order to protect them;
- someone who escorts and protects a prominent person;
- a participant in a date;
- an attendant who is employed to accompany someone;
Abd Bakir made this statement after allegations were made that MPK enforcement officers dragged tailor Pua Chia Teng, 35, from his shop and bundled him into a car before taking him to the police headquarters here over a parking fine.
After viewing a video-clip of the incident, I can say with confidence and authority that Abd Bakir had certainly misunderstood the meaning of the word “escort”.
Certainly Pua was not escorted to the police station. He was physically dragged, and at least one kick from an enforcement officer landed on his calves.
It is more than obvious that the enforcement officers broke not just one law, but several of them. Let it be categorically stated that there are no provisions in any law of the land to physically drag someone to the police station.
First, Pua was not accused of any offence. If it was something to do with the parking ticket, it was his brother. If Pua was being dragged to give the statement as a witness, then there are procedures to be followed.
But the MPK officers took the law into their own hands. And now, they have to pay the price for their folly.
Councillor and Pandamaran assemblyman Datuk Teh Kim Poo has described the incident as the “darkest day in the history of the MPK.” He’s right – we are seeing miniature little Napoleons in action, with total disregard for the law.
Pua has already lodged a police report, and on what I saw on the video-clip, the police have no choice but to charge the officers with assault, abduction and wrongful confinement, all of which carry long jail sentences.
The police must carry out a thorough investigation – without fear or favour – with a view of bringing the culprits to book.
This is an opportune time for the police to redeem themselves in the wake of public criticism. If nothing comes out of this, then many will be tempted to use brawn rather than brain when confronted with such situations. (…) (Source)