Cops must charge men who attacked female guard, says Tenaganita

helen-chew-1PETALING JAYA: A human rights group has called on police to charge the three men who attacked a female security guard in Penang, despite the victim withdrawing her police report.

Tenaganita director Aegile Fernandez said police must also determine if the female guard had withdrawn her report out of fear.

In the Thursday night incident, Helen Chew, 59, was assaulted by three men at a condominium guardpost after she did not allow a visitor’s car to enter a lane meant for residents. Her ordeal was caught on video.

Later, the guard and the assailants opted to settle the issue amicably. Chew was given RM200 as compensation by her attackers.

Aegile said such a violent incident should be addressed immediately, not resolved amicably.

“She is a woman and on duty. They need to respect that. They should not have acted in such a violent way against her.

“What is sad for me in all this is that you make her go through an ordeal and give her RM200 and ask her to withdraw her complaint.

“I am definite she has been threatened. Therefore, she must have been afraid for herself and her family.

“A report has been made, I think the police must haul up the assailants, whether the report has been withdrawn or not,” Aegile told FMT.

She said there are no excuses for violence and the men must pay the price for injuring the guard. The guard was reported to have suffered bruises on her face and arms.

“Violence is violence, although the guard was not badly injured. She is also a senior citizen. We have to look at it from a woman’s perspective and what she has gone through.”

Aegile said the latest incident comes as no surprise, as Tenaganita receive numerous complaints about domestic and workplace abuse against women.

She said Malaysians were being moulded towards a “violent” social fabric, where being violent was the only way to resolve matters.

“We are becoming a violent society; there is no sense of respect for another human being.

“Rather than resolving a matter amicably, you use filthy words and violence. This has to be taken up as a grave concern, but yet we are not addressing it.”

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) exco member Shanthi Dairiam said “private settlements” in cases of assault was not right as it would only show it was okay to use violence to solve arguments.

The way the case was handled would only send a wrong message to the public, she added.

“A measly sum of RM200 as a private settlement and the victim withdrawing the complaint sends the wrong message.

“The message we are sending is, it is okay to be violent to settle disagreements as money can wipe out unlawful behaviour,” Shanthi told FMT.

She said the assailants should be charged according to the rule of law, as the guard was merely guarding the safety and security of the condominium.

“News reports show one of the witnesses to the assault was the chair of the residents’ group, who was also threatened by the assailants.

“Police should explain why the assailants were not charged in the face of clear evidence available,” Shanthi said.

The condominium’s residents’ group chairman had also claimed that he was shoved by one of the assailants and Chew stood in his way to block a punch aimed at him.

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