EAIC chairman Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar says enhancements need to be discussed before implementation. PIC BY EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

There were 430 custodial deaths in Malaysia between 2011 and 2021, a study by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) found.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar, said the study covered the police, Immigration Department, National Anti-Drugs Agency (Nada), Customs Department and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

The agencies are under the EAIC's purview, except for the police, which is now monitored by the Independent Police Conduct Commission, which was set up last year.

He said EAIC, through its committee set up in 2021 to review the cases, was proposing several measures to prevent deaths in custody.

"EAIC recommends legal and policy improvements, as well as putting forth suggestions for the improvement of infrastructure and facilities of the lock-ups that would help reduce the number of deaths in custody in Malaysia.

"Enhancements such as infrastructure would incur additional costs to the government, hence the need for discussions before they are implemented," he said in an interview.

He said the findings of the study would be presented to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Special Cabinet Committee on National Governance's (JKKTN) secretary today.

It will then be presented to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who chairs the cabinet committee, hopefully in May.

Ismail said the study would not be released to the public until it was approved by the committee.

"Every life is precious and all possible steps and precautions are needed to prevent death in custody."

Ismail, who is the former chief secretary to the government, suggested that enforcement agencies use a centralised centre to interrogate and detain the suspects they were investigating.

"However, many aspects need to be put into consideration, including travelling, movement of the suspects and manpower."

Civil societies, including the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, have over the years raised concerns over the alarming number of custodial deaths, including in lock-ups.

In 2019, the government announced that 756 lock-ups nationwide would be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail could not be reached for comment.

The NST has also attempted to contact Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.

Suruhanjaya Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan
Aras 5, Blok Menara
Menara Usahawan
No. 18 Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2
62652 Putrajaya, Malaysia

am TALIAN AM+603-8880 5650

faks FAKS+603-8880 5646

emel E-MEL Alamat emel ini dilindungi dari Spambot. Anda perlu hidupkan JavaScript untuk melihatnya.