[UPDATED] Police Intimidation Video: What Happened Before

[Updated on 14 October 2010: Through Dato’ Khalid Bin Abu Bakar’s statement on 13 October 2010, the police has responded on Facebook here. Thank you commentator PDRM for bringing it to our attention. We reproduce it in full:

Salam rakan-rakan semua, apa yg kita lihat di dalam video itu, terdapat kekurangan/kesilapan di kedua-dua pihak. Di pihak Polis, anggota tersebut bersikap kurang mesra, dan terdapat kata-kata yang tidak perlu diucapkan langsung. Apa yang perlu diucapkan ketika menahan seseorang yang melakukan kesalahan trafik, adalah mengucapkan salam/selamat pagi/petang, maklumkan apa kesalahan pemandu dan jika dia menerima alasan yg diberikan oleh pemandu, dia boleh menggunakan budi bicaranya untuk melepaskan pemandu dengan amaran atau ingatan dan jika dia tidak menerima alasan pemandu, dia terus mengeluarkan saman dan beredar.

Jika pemandu enggan menerima saman, buat catatan dan terus beredar. Kata-kata atau ucapan lain yang tidak berkenaan tidak perlu.

Di pihak pemandu, di dalam insiden ini pula seolah-olah mencabar dan membuat provokasi kepada anggota polis yang menjalankan tugasnya. Ini juga tidak perlu dilakukan. Tidak salah untuk merakam kejadian yang berlaku tetapi tidak perlu mengeluarkan kata-kata yg mencabar anggota Polis itu. Jika ada perbuatan anggota Polis itu yang tidak menyenangkan pemandu, dia boleh melaporkannya kepada Pegawai Kanan Polis di mana-mana Balai. Pemandu juga boleh hadir ke mahkamah untuk mendengar kes di hadapan Majistret, jika tidak puas hati dengan saman yang dikeluarkan. Saya telah menghubungi Rakan kita yang postkan video ini tetapi malangnya dia tidak dapat memberi saya butir-butir lanjut kejadian ini. Kita akan cuba kesan Anggota polis berkenaan dan dapatkan butiran kejadian. Terima kaseh saya ucapkan di atas pendedahan ini.]

Pamela Lim’s previous video post has attracted a record number of hits on LoyarBurok. She elaborates on her video with an account of what happened before she started filming and why she acted as she did. This was originally written (on 10 October 2010 at 8.47 pm) as a comment response to hundreds of other comments on the original post and is now reproduced for easy reference.

The video can be viewed here.

I was flagged down after turning right at the junction of Federal Highway adjoining Jalan Gasing/Jalan University. When I stopped the car to ask what I was stopped for, the policeman said I committed an offence, for using the mobile phone without hands-free. I maintained that my phone was on the hands-free speaker and I was holding the phone at a distance as I spoke but they kept saying that I did not use the hands-free. They asked for my IC and driver’s license in which I complied and gave it to them. As they were holding the summons book, they didn’t read out which Act that I had violated when I asked them what the difference was, between using a hands-free kit and the hands-free speaker.

Then they asked me how I would like to settle the matter. Then I asked them, how do you normally settle matters like this. Then they said, if I want to settle it normally, it would be a hassle for me. Then they waited for my response. I told them, I didn’t think that I have committed an offence per se, but if they say that I have, then I am willing to accept the summons as I’m obviously in the wrong by using the phone according to them. I have always used the handsfree kit but that day, I hadn’t plugged it in and my mistake was answering the phone by putting it on hands-free speaker and was flagged down before I could put the phone on my holster. Look at the video again, my phone holster is stuck on the right of my windscreen.

As they insisted that I was wrong, I insisted that they gave me the summons for it. They began to taunt me with words in Malay and if I hadn’t read the RED BOOK by the Bar Council to know what to do when confronted by the police, I would not know what to do or what to expect next.

I asked them for their names and their ID numbers in which they got defensive. Then I thought if they were going to hassle me further, I might as well record their actions on photographs. I photographed them with my phone so that I have evidence of my encounter with them should I want to challenge the summons in court. They began to yell at me for taking pictures, accusing me of “intimidating” them and that I have no rights to take pictures of their uniform as it was government property. When they began to intimidate me with their words, that was when I switched to video mode.

What followed was all recorded for you to see.

I had no idea what they were getting at except that they were trying to intimidate me to submit to their demands. When they handed me the summons to sign, I wrote on it that “I do not accept as I had handsfree,” the police went livid. There is no law that states that you can’t write anything in protest of a summons for an offence that you do not admit to. Signing the summons denotes acceptance of the summons, not the offence. All the time, I had the video on, filming with my left hand. He shouted at me. Questioning what rights do I have, implying that I should have none when dealing with the police.

He kept questioning me WHO I AM. Does it matter who I am? I am an ordinary citizen who has rights. Does it mean that if I were a “somebody” this treatment would have been different? Does it mean that if I was a somebody, I would be let off? Why was the policeman so adamant in asking me who I was? What difference would it make if they had decided already that I had committed an offence? Or would my offence be a non-offence if they had known how my family had been a close source to the family of the late Tun Razak and the father of our independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman?

When they refused to return my IC and license, beckoning and summoning me to follow them back to the station, I refused and stated my rights and that I will report them for they had “stolen” my IC. That’s when they realised I knew the law. If I had committed an offence and obstructed justice, why didn’t they arrest me? They also refused to issue me the summons until they decided that they flouted the law themselves and returned my IC, license together with the summons issued. THEY REFUSED TO HAND ME THE SUMMONS FOR ME TO GO. This probably did not even occur to you because you didn’t watch the video properly.

These policemen abused their power to talk down to a lady, threatened me by withholding my IC and license and yet demanded the respect at the same time: how is that possible? No one is allowed to hold on to your IC, not even security guards at the condo entry points.

All of you who condemned me obviously had never been in a situation like mine, where you were made to feel small and insignificant for refusing to cower under pressure for an offence that I did not consciously commit. Being a female, I would have been subjected to a lot worse if I was intimidated by them to follow them to goodness-knows-where. I was well aware of the fact that they didn’t have their ID numbers on them and had every reason to be suspicious. In a country where I’m viewed in the same light as a “pendatang” (illegal immigrant) and accused of having an ancestry of prostitutes, I ought to be wary of every encounter with anyone who come across to me in such a manner.

It’s interesting to see how many of you distort the topic of intimidation and threats when the police outnumbered me.

For those who think I shouldn’t be a citizen of Malaysia, you ought to know that I am the descendent of Malaya’s first court interpreter, Peter Lim and can trace back four generations in Malaysia. I am a law abiding citizen and a God-fearing person. I have also compounded my summons and paid the fine. I have decided to make this video public not to seek publicity but to educate the public especially women, on their rights when confronted by the police and when to exercise them. What happened to me, can happen to anybody. I have utmost respect for the police force when they arrest criminals, recover kidnapped children, clamp down on high crimes and solve murder mysteries. I never hesitate to cooperate with them whenever necessary but I will not be intimidated when I refuse to give bribes.

Thank you for your time in giving your comments and being so quick to condemn. You ought to read the RED BOOK. I acted within my rights. I was in my confined space. I had every right to defend myself from unruly behaviour. They could have been more courteous. As a tax payer, we are paying their salaries.

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Posted on 11 October 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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