Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Musa Hassan Should Not be Given Another Extension of His Tenure as IGP

Joint Press Statement: 11 September 2009

Musa Hassan Should Not be Given Another Extension of His Tenure as IGP

We, undersign Malaysia Civil Society Organisations regrets that the Government has extended tenure of current Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan tenure for another year until 12 September 2010. We urge the IGP not to accept the offer and should instead step down as he has failed in carrying out his duties and responsibilities in the past three years. His performance can be accessed from the three main areas identified by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Management and Operations of the Police Force (Royal Police Commission): to reduce crime; to eradicate corruption; and to bring an end to human rights abuses

1. Drastic increase in crimes rate and the failure to ensure the safety of citizens

Since Musa Hassan’s appointment as the IGP on 12 September 2006,[1] he has failed by not implementing the Royal Police Commission’s target of reducing the intolerably high incidence of crime of 156,455 cases in 2004 by 20 per cent in 12 months (i.e. 125,164 cases), but in the four years from 2004 to 2008 crime index increased by 35.5%.

In the latest statistics provided in Parliament, the country’s crime index has galloped to break the 200,000 cases mark, with the incidence of crime shooting up to 209,582 cases in the year of 2007 and 211,645 cases in 2008. This clearly demonstrates that the IGP has failed in performing his main role in leading the police force to reduce crime.

Furthermore, the IGP has also failed in protecting the two most fundamental human rights in any civilized society – the right to be free from the crime and the right to be free from the fear of crime. A poll on public feedback as to whether they feel safe from crime in the country, published in the website of the Home Ministry, shows that 97% of 8,761 of 9,044 respondents felt unsafe while only 1% or 76 respondents felt safe. Meanwhile, on the question as to whether the respondents felt their security was assured, 95% answered in the negative.

2. Poor human rights compliance and partiality of the police

Under the leadership of Musa Hassan, there have been persistent reports of excessive use of force and other forms of abuse of power, including violent police reactions during peaceful assemblies, fatal shootings, abuse of remand procedures, cases of torture and ill treatment and deaths in custody. Besides these, there were many instances of selective investigations, apparent partiality, and harassments and threats to human rights defenders.

The most recent case of the police’s continuous crackdown on the Constitutionally-enshrined right to freedom of assembly was when 589 Malaysians, including 44 juveniles, were arrested during the Anti-ISA Rally on 1 August 2009. The police also used batons, shields, water cannons and teargas to disperse the crowd during the rally.

The police force also demonstrated apparent partiality towards the Barisan National ruling party on numerous occasions, including in the political coup in Perak, where the police colluded in the illegal sacking of a democratically-elected government by stopping Perak Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar and his Exco team from entering the State Secretariat Building, and the Speaker from calling a State Assembly’s meeting. Perak State Assembly Speaker Sivakumar was dragged out from State Assembly Hall by several uniformed police personnel.

3. Allegations of corruption

Musa Hassan not only failed to eradicate corruption in the police force, but was suspected to be involved in corruption himself. In 2007, Musa faced then Anti-Corruption Agency probe on claims that he took RM2 million in bribe to free three criminal suspects held under the Emergency Ordinance.

On August 2009, online media Malaysia today posted an affidavit by a police officer alleging that Musa Hassan had allowed a triad leader to manipulate the promotion, demotion and posting of police officers, and sabotage the police’s investigation into corruption cases. Until this date, he has yet to respond to this allegation.

With these failures, we strongly urge Musa Hassan not to accept the extension and the Government to appoint a new Inspector-General of Police to provide a new leadership which could ensure an efficient, incorruptible and professional police force..

We also urge the Government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) immediately and to implement all the recommendations by Royal Police Commission without further delay.

Endorsed by:

1. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)

2. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

3. Centre for Policy Initiatives

4. Civil Rights Committee (CRC) of the Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)

5. Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI@Parliament)

6. Community Development Centre (CDC)

7. Gabungan Bertindak Mahasiswa Utara (GBMU)

8. Group of Concerned Citizens

9. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)

10. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (KAMI UKM)

11. Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement(DEMA)

12. National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI)

13. People’s Parliament

14. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)

15. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)

16. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)

17. Pusat Komuniti Masyarakat (KOMAS)

18. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)

19. Sisters in Islam (SIS)

20. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

21. Workers Organisation Malaysia

22. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

23. Youth for Change (Y4C)

[1] Musa Hassan served as Commissioner of Criminal Investigation Department in 2004, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in year 2005 and appointed as IGP on 12 September 2006 until now.


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