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Kampung Pictures Daily A Growing Awareness
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013 01:29

Kinship: Teoh Lee Lan, sister of death in custody victim Teoh Beng Hock, observing a minute's silence in memory of her brother's and the dozens of others untimely demise.

By Victor Low

IT is 16th July 2013, roughly 7.30pm, on the middle span Leboh Pasar Besar Bridge. Soon after the Muezzin's call for the breaking of fast rang through an emptied out downtown Kuala Lumpur, a group of Anak Bangsa Malaysia listened in silent reflection to the following tune sung and composed by Saudara M.V. Nathan:

Mengapa aku dipukul dan dicederakan?

Mengapa harus ku mati di dalam tahanan;

Bukankah engkau sama seperti aku;

Mengharapkan simpati dan balas kasihan insan.

Could these be desperate pleas by those countless silent victims of death in custody? Powerless to the unbridled abuse and torture of their gaolers. We will never know. As they say, dead men tell no tales.



Solemn: A mild breeze ushers the candle flames to a gentle dance.


Adakah baju dan pangkat mu

Membuat kamu membuta kepada tangisan ku

Mengapa kamu membisu

Tidakkah kamu mendengar jeritan kesakitan ku?

Apakah yang membuat kamu sedemikian.

With candles and flowers in hand, we ask ourselves, “Why would those men and women in uniform, who were sworn to protect the Rakyat and to uphold the rule of law, choose to act in such bestial ways...?”



Again we gather: For the past three years, the Memorial by the River has been held to remember the custodial deaths and the families whom they had left behind.


Well, all is not lost. Even though it has been four years to the day that Teoh Beng Hock lost his life, in a spectacularly horrible way, while being detained by the MACC, he still remains a poignant symbol in the collective consciousness of the Rakyat. Pictures of his son, now 4 years old, paying respect to his father's grave splash prominently in several mainstream Chinese Language newspapers recently.

Continued insistence of more potent government bodies like an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to replace a lame-duck Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) are gaining traction. The increasing attention from the mainstream media on reports of custodial deaths is also a good outcome from continued and dogged awareness campaigns by civil society.



Light: Human rights lawyer Visvanathan speaks about his experiences in some of the death in custody cases.


After a minute's silence, the group of Anak Bangsa Malaysia, a motley crew of all segments of Malaysian society, broke into little groups of conversation and camaraderie. The formal memorial event is over. The crowd tapers off with a promise that come 16th July 2014 they will gather again... They know that their presence matter.



Kin: Gangga Gowri, sister of R Gunasegaran, sharing her journey since her brother's death. Despite eye-witness accounts, the Coroner's Court had returned an 'open verdict' on the case. R Guna died on the same day as Teoh Beng Hock.



Till justice is done: The flame will go on in our hearts.



This says it all.


P.S. - “Another death in custody has occurred. This time involving a 26-year-old detainee at the Batu Gajah Rehabilitation Centre. Chew Siang Giap died on Tuesday (16 July 2013)...” - The Sun, Thursday, 18 July 2013.”


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Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 23:52

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