Johor DAP’s Dr Boo calls on Suhakam to include provisions in Kluang Prison custodial death case

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, Aug 2 — Johor DAP leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau called on the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to include two provisions under the Suhakam Act 1999 (Act 597) as part of investigations into a recent custodial death in Kluang Prison last June.

The Johor DAP committee member said he hopes Suhakam will include its findings on the death of 36-year-old prison inmate Kim Shih Keat under Section 4(2)(b) and Section 21 of the Suhakam Act 1999.

“Under Section 4(2)(b), Suhakam is empowered to advise the government on the appropriate measures based on the complaints against the relevant authorities, while Section 21 relates to the submission of the particular case in an annual report to Parliament.

“This is an effort to reduce the family’s suffering and to also provide justice to the deceased.

“I thank the commission for their efforts in investigating the complaint and visiting the deceased’s family,” said Dr Boo to Malay Mail today in response to Suhakam’s investigation and public complaints team that met Kim’s family here yesterday.

Family members present at the meeting with Suhakam yesterday were the deceased’s brother Kim Shih Hoe and their cousin Michele Kim Soo Wit.

On July 24, Dr Boo and Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh assisted Kim’s family in calling for an inquest to be held and for a joint investigation by the police, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and Suhakam.

Both also urged the police to speed up investigations into Kim’s death hours before his release from a seven-day jail sentence for a drink-driving offence.

Dr Boo said Suhakam had yesterday acted within its scope to start an inquiry into the family’s complaint that was related to a possible human rights infringement.

He added that the commission had also acted within its powers to gather evidence for the case.

However, Dr Boo said the EAIC had informed them that they had no powers over the case.

He said the integrity commission replied that the case was not within their jurisdiction to review as the Prisons Department is not within the 21 law enforcement agencies under them.

Dr Boo, a former Johor state lawmaker, said Malaysia should consider the codification of human rights offences and recognise human rights as a legal right by following the lead of the European Union where the European Human Rights Conventions has a legal binding effect on governments.

“Our government should amend the present law and federal Constitution by providing Suhakam with more independent powers to investigate and prosecute any human rights offenders,” he said.

Kim’s family was told that the deceased had died in hospital on June 28 after being found unconscious in Kluang Prison hours before his release.

Kim was sentenced to seven days’ jail on June 22 after being arrested for a drink-driving offence in September last year. He was also fined RM15,000 and his driving licence was suspended.

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