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IGP is wrong on use of lock-up uniforms, says Surendran

 | August 22, 2017

PKR vice-president N Surendran claims Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar does not know police's own lock-up rules and SOP issued by Bukit Aman.

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PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president N Surendran claims Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar does not know the rules pertaining to the treatment of arrested persons.

He was referring to comments made by Khalid yesterday on the recent criticism by Surendran and others on the treatment accorded to some high-profile persons detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Khalid had defended the practice of forcing suspects arrested by police to wear purple lock-up uniforms.

“The IGP claimed that ‘lock-up rules’ authorised the police to put suspects in the notorious purple uniforms. He could not be more wrong.

“There is nothing in the Lock-up Rules 1953 that gives authority to the police to bring arrested persons to court wearing the purple uniforms,” Surendran said, adding that this is because the law presumes that arrested persons are innocent until proven guilty, and are thus entitled to wear their own ordinary clothes.

Surendran was also shocked at Khalid’s ignorance of Bukit Aman’s own standard operating procedure (SOP) which prohibits remanded suspects from being brought to court in lock-up uniforms.

“This SOP is titled ‘Prosedur Kualiti Pengurusan Lokap, Bukit Aman’ issued on July 1, 2014. The police are thus daily breaching their own SOP on the treatment of remanded suspects.”

Surendran, who is Padang Serai MP, said that bringing suspects for court proceedings in lock-up uniforms is fundamentally wrong.

“It is a cardinal principle that a suspect or accused person appearing in court must be allowed to wear his ordinary clothes, and not any kind of uniform that has the effect of branding him a criminal or wrongdoer.”

“It is highly prejudicial to the suspect or accused person to force him to face the judge hearing his case wearing the lock-up uniform. Doing so is in clear breach of the right to a fair trial or hearing under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Surendran also urged the IGP and the MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad to abandon their “desperate attempts to defend this illegal, unconstitutional and prejudicial practice”.

“This practice must be ceased immediately.”

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