Yesterday, the Sun reported that the ‘five lawyers and 14 others arrested on May 7 for allegedly taking part in an illegal assembly outside the Brickfields police station are unlikely to face charges. Their police bail expired today and in keeping with an earlier instruction, they had turned up at the station to see whether the bail would be extended or they would be charged. However, they were told instead to go home’.

This is our Malaysian police force. When it suits them, they just arrest you on some trumped up charge, detain you at their leisure before finally releasing you. Then when found out, pretend to be magnanimous as if you were wrong in the first place. This has Kafka written all over it.

So what was that screaming, rolling of gates and arrests and detention all about? And was there any need to detain any more longer than to fingerprint, photograph and record their statements which can all be done rather quickly if they wanted to and thereafer released. After all, what was there to investigate? But no, this was to teach those lawyers a lesson. I wonder how this is in keeping with our police force’s supposed ‘Berkhidmat Mesra’ Program or Friendly Policing Program?

In summary, this program is supposed to encourage a harmonious interaction between individuals based on sincerity and honesty. The word ‘Mesra’ itself means all thought and action should be humanitarian in character. In the context of the police force, it means its interactions between the police force and its ‘pelanggan’ (i.e. customers), the public (this is a loose translation from the website).

When I read the write ups about the police force, its vision, its mission, their code of conduct, etc. on the website and then consider the reality, I have the strange feeling as if the website is referring to some other police force instead of ours, its declaration notwithstanding. I wonder whether Mr. Head Hunter knows of such a program.

And if the lawyers remain not charged for their so called illegal assembly, it becomes even more obvious that the entire incident was an abuse of power by the police. But then does anybody expect anything less from our police force?

Fahri Azzat practices the dark arts of the law. Although he enjoys writing and reading, he doesn't enjoy writing his own little biographies of himself. Like this one. He wished somebody else would do it...

5 replies on “So what was that all about then?”

  1. The police deserve a compliment for their knowledge of this bit of the law. They are aware that the Mesra program is just another campaign by our government to win the trust of the rakyat. It has no legal effect.

    Look at the bright side of this: When the Bar & 5 lawyers succeed in the civil suits against Head Hunter & Others, they may be able to recover huge compensations for the loss/damages.

  2. Bar Council is going to take legal action against Head Hunter. Head Hunter had to please the Bar Council in releasing the 5 lawyers hoping that the Bar Council would drop the legal action against Head Hunter who rudely shouted "TANGKAP!!!!! TANGKAP!!!!! TANGKAT!!!!!" However, Head Hunter just could not release the 5 lawyers only because people would know Head Hunter was scared of the Bar Council. In the end, Head Hunter had to release the other 14 people. What a nice show in Bolehland?

  3. If we had the IPCMC, would it have been the right body to complain to regarding this "catch & release" tactic of intimidating civil society groups? Since we have no IPCMC yet, to whom can we lodge a complaint?

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