Monday, 11 August 2014


This was first was posted by me in September 2009. It has taken this long for the court to hold PDRM responsible for this brutal murder of Kugan. 


I make no apology for the following article but I would sincerely caution that the images of Kugan that follows are quite disturbing – disturbing maybe but we need to be reminded that this is a human being that we are talking about – and we need to see what has been done to one of our own by PDRM.

This was the headline in The Malaysian Insider today.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 – The increase in death toll in the 20th Ops Sikap, which ended last Sunday, does not reflect the failure of the operation.
The police would prefer the grim figure be seen as a “wake-up call” to road users in the country.

My friend two words for the Traffic Police Chief. The first letter of the first word is F. He tells us that PDRM would prefer the grim figure be seen as a: 
“wake-up call” !!!
Hey Chief what if we want PDRM to take the grim figure of people dying in PDRM’s custody as a “WAKE UP CALL too?” Look at this image. It is of KUGAN. Dead murdered by PDRM.
Look at his face. How he must have suffered! What would posses the Police to beat a man like an animal…no even animals are treated better! You must have made his last few days, his last few hours…his last few minutes on this earth to be one of much physical and mental pain…or is it true what they say that when your thresh hold of pain is arrived at…the mind switches off and your body waits for death? If that is so I am sure that Kugan must have switched off many times because of the injuries that he sustained not one of them would have been enough to cause instant death – instead he was taken onto a lingering and painful journey over a period of time…five days of suffering…always towards death. PDRM must have driven him insane with pain.
Torture in Police custody? Why? Do these torturers act without fear of prosecution because of the lack of judicial punishment and the shortcomings in our criminal justice system? Do corruption, official acquiescence and a lack of adequate human rights training for these mata mata means that torture is routine in our Police Station? The place where we go to seek protection and help in times of our trouble? Or does our government choose torture of its Rakyats as the most efficient means to control and to terrorize its own Rakyat into passivity and submission! Again let us look at Kugan here. Do not turn away my friends. If it hard for us to look as it was hard for me – just think what he had to go through in his last days on this earth – in that Petaling Jaya Police Station! So that we know that we are talking about a fellow human being here. Look and remember.
There is a clear link between discrimination and torture in PDRM.Those most at risk are the Indians – because they are the poorest and most marginalized of our Rakyats. They are our ethnic minority who face discrimination everywhere – especially so with PDRM. What are the effects of torture? Serious injury, emotional scars, destroyed mind, paralyses…and in Kugan’s case DEATH! Look again here and you will see that he is no more with us. He has left us, he has left his family and he has left this world, as we know it.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Article 5, proclaims that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"….no one understand. No one! Does it not matter to our government that all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment  - TOTURE – are absolutely and universally illegal? Not really - Malaysia is not one of the signatory to the UN General Assembly (Resolution 39/46)  Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). This Convention, which entered into force on 26 June 1987, obliges States to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it. It notes explicitly that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture but in Malaysia we have government-sanctioned torture!
This Tan Sri of an AG classified Kugan’s case as murder but it has taken eight months until now – SEPTEMBER  - for PDRM to announce that the policemen involved in Kugan’s murder will be facing charges this week – how many policemen facing what charges is still to be announced. Let me put in my two cents worth. I have seen how the Police interrogate their suspects. There will be at least three to four policemen in the same room. They do not have the guts to make it a one on one situation. Cowards only find courage in large groups. They would all together have hammered Kugan into submission…into unconsciousness with their fists, kick his body and kick his head when he was down and lying on the floor. They would have used whatever weapons or batons or rubber hoses available to do the job. Then when Kugan lies on the floor unconsciousness the most sadistic of them (and there are many!) would continue hitting Kugan while the others go take a coffee break with some goreng pisang and curry puffs…maybe even nasi lemak if they are really hungry! How can they do this without any remorse for their victims of torture? They can do this because this is what they do with regularity – hitting and hammering suspect into submission is par for the course for these policemen.
So please do not charge just one policeman…we are not stupid idiots. The IGP is not a stupid idiot. The AG is not a stupid idiot. Do the right thing. 

Five years later this is what the courts have decreed!

LANDMARK CASE: IGP found liable for covering up Kugan's "murder", abuse of power 

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

LANDMARK CASE: IGP found liable for covering up Kugan's "murder", abuse of power
UPDATED VIDEO INSERTED The mother of Kugan Ananthan, a 22-year-old car theft suspect who was  brutally beaten to death by his police interrogators, has won a landmark case against the government, the Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and two others.
In delivering his judgement, High Court judge VT Singham minced no words, lambasting the IGP and the government for failing to ensure Kugan's safety.
The judge also found Khalid and the late Subang Jaya police chief Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar guilty of trying to cover up the cause of Kugan's death while lauding N Surendran, a human rights lawyer who had fought for a second post-mortem to be carried out.
"The court has found all defendants liable as per our claim. The court found that Kugan died as a result of the assault and battery and detained inflicted while trying to extract a confession," Latheefa Koya, the lawyer for Kugan's family, told reporters outside the courtroom.
"It also found he was detained unlawfully. The first defendant and third defendant (Khalid and Zainal) are found liable for covering up the incident and also found liable for misfeasance in public office (abuse of power). As for the second defendant (V Navindran), the judge actually referred to all the police witnesses and he found them to be unreliable and their stories untenable and they could be held liable."

Bravo to the activists community
The court also awarded damages amounting to RM801,000 to Kugan's mother. This includes RM192,000 for loss of dependency, RM9,709 for funeral expenses, RM50,000 for assault, battery and causing suffering, RM100,000 for false imprisonment, RM100,000 for misfeasance in public office, and RM300,000 in exemplary damages. The judge further awarded costs of RM50,000 to the family.
The family has not commented on the size of the damages but to observers, it may seem rather small considering that Kugan was only in his early twenties and had just begun his life as a young and productive adult.
“Despite the victory, this is still a small consolation for the family. Why? Because the culprits who murdered Kugan are still walking free in this country," Surendran,who was also at the courthouse, told reporters.
He is the activist lawyer who had picked up the cudgels for the Kugan family, fighting for a second post-mortem that eventually revealed that Kugan had been badly tortured, hit and kicked until his kidneys ruptured. Surenrdan is now the Member of Parliament for Padang Serai and a vice president of the People's Justice Party or PKR..
“For this family to have closure, the culprits who did this act must be brought to justice," he added.
Making the government pay
Nonetheless, this is the first time the court has ordered such a 'compensation' and this opens the door to future lawsuits against the police and the government. Monetary "compensation" may be only way to hammer through the message to an "uncaring government", pointed out an activist.
"It would come up to more than RM1 mil if we add in the interest. Of course, it will help the family but can it bring Kugan back?" S Jayathas, an Indian rights activist, told Malaysia Chronicle. He was among those who had rushed to the morgue in January 2009 on receiving news that Kugan had died in suspicious circumstances.
"At another level, it is Malaysian taxpayers who will ultimately bear this sum, so they must demand accountability from the government and the IGP. If the police and the government misbehaves, a life is lost and they get away scot-free. But the people end up having to pay for their crimes and sins. Is this right? Hopefully, now that the court has held the government and the IGP responsible and ordered them to pay compensation, they will be more responsive and ethical in their work."
Don't delay forming the IPCMC - judge
Kugan's mother, Indra Nallathamby, had in January last year filed a RM100 million civil suit against the government and police, claiming damages for the "brutal murder" of her son.
She named as 1st defendant Khalid, who was then the Selangor police chief and now the IGP; as 2nd defendant police officer Navindran Vivekanandan, who has been convicted of causing Kugan's death but is now out on bail pending an appeal; as 3rd defendant Zainal Rashid who has since passed away; as 4th defendant the Inspector General of Police; and as 5th defendant the government of Malaysia.
Justice Singham upheld her claims that Kugan had been wrongly imprisoned, and that the defendants had breached their duty of care to him. He further found that Kugan had been "murdered", the first validation from a court of the family's allegations whereas government prosecutors had only sought to to charge his killers for causing grievous hurt.
“Police lock-ups and police stations must be a safe place for every human being and should not be converted into a crime scene,” he said.
The judge also advised Prime Minister Najib Razak's government to not further delay establishing an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, as was recommended by a Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2005.
"The recommendation of the royal commission of inquiry must not be kept in cold storage and allowed to freeze. It must be activated as soon as possible in order to assure all concerned members of society, including family members of deceased persons, that an independent agency is looking into the matter without any influence from the local police officers," Singham said.
'Itu anak saya'
Kugan holds a special spot in the hearts of many Malaysians. He was an ordinary youth eking out a living in a car insurance firm. Hardly anyone knew of him but the manner in which he died, the bare-faced way in which the police had tried to hide the circumstances of his death as well as the way that the government had tried to shield the 12 police officers who interrogated him, had touched a raw nerve. The perceived injustice sparked a torrent of public criticism and demand for his killers to brought to court.
Sad to say, Kugan is not the first and will not be the last Malaysian to die in police custody. But his was the case that finally pricked the people's conscience, rousing public fury at the misdeeds of the police. It is perhaps fitting that his family wins the landmark case that may finally force the government to rein in the police and do something to stop murder at its lockups.
"We are happy that at least the court acknowledges there was injustice done to Kugan. But we are not happy because there are so many other cases like his. Why are the police doing these things," Kugan's aunty told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Ya, itu anak saya (yes, that's my son)," a teary-eyed Indra told Malaysia Chronicle, when asked for her response to the verdict. She declined to say more.
Malaysia Chronicle

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