KUALA LUMPUR: Since 2008, 143 people have died while in police custody, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
From the data, the majority who died were Malays (55), Chinese (28), Indians (35), others (3) and foreigners (22).
The home ministry was replying to Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) who wanted to know the total number of deaths since 2008 according to race and nationality.
She also asked how many police officers had been found guilty of the deaths in lock-ups, prisons and immigration detention centres.
The ministry said so far, nine police officers had been charged with the deaths that occurred in lock-ups.
The ministry said it took the issue seriously and would continue to take new measures to curb such incidents.
One of the high-profile cases last year was the case of S Balamurugan who apparently died after he was punched and kicked while in police custody.
The police were said to have failed to follow the standard operating procedure during the arrest of Balamurugan and while he was in a lock-up in Klang.