Responding to a question by Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani) during question time, the minister said there were 231 cases of custodial deaths from 2000 until May this year, but most were due to natural causes.
“One hundred and ninety six of these deaths were caused by diseases and illnesses. Twenty nine were because the individuals hung themselves. Two were because of fights among detainees. Another two slipped and fell in the lock-up. Only two resulted from injuries caused by police,” he said.
“One hundred and ninety six died from illnesses. Are you going to say that is police brutality, too?”
The minister added that there is a perception that one minority ethnic group are the most common death in custody victim, but this was not true and the perception must be corrected.
Meanwhile, the minister also stated that the government established the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) in 2009 in response to the proposal to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
The IPCMC was mooted in 2005 by a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) in 2005 to improve the performance of the police force.
Zahid said that the IPCMC could not be established because of its “contradictions” with laws governing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Extra Territorial Offences Act 1976 and also Section 127a of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“The EAIC was the answer to the RCI’s recommendations. Only that the EAIC has wider scope for all government agencies,” he said.
“The IPCMC also was supposed to investigate police misconduct which took place before the IPCMC was set up. That contravenes the constitution." - Malaysiakini, 26/6/2013, Zahid: Only two custodial death caused by cops