APRIL 24 — On April 12, 2020, a police officer was arrested for abducting and raping two Mongolian women. He was first remanded for five days, and the remand was extended for two additional days to allow for a police investigation on the case to take place.
On April 19, after seven days of remand, the officer was released on police bail. The officer is reportedly suspended but is yet to be charged.
JAG is deeply concerned by the release of the police officer on police bail and the delay in charging the police officer in the court of law.
Central to this case is the Royal Malaysia Police's (PDRM) integrity in carrying out a transparent, impartial and unprejudiced investigation, which also puts at stake PDRM's credibility as a law enforcement institution.
There is a wide public trust deficit towards police officers because of the perception that police officers are not held accountable due to the power and protection that they enjoy. In particular, cases of sexual harassments and assaults by police officers are grossly underreported.
When such cases are reported, many do not get the justice and redress that they deserve, further calling into question the protection the public can expect from the police.
Investigation of cases where the perpetrator is a police officer must be above reproach. In such cases where the perpetrator is in a position of power, there must be no hint of double standard as everyone is equal under the law; police officers are also citizens who are equally subject to the same criminal laws that they are charged to enforce.
The PDRM must remain focused on ensuring the perpetrator is held accountable regardless of his position in PDRM.
The delay in bringing justice to the victims also has a severe impact on the mental health and well being of the Mongolian women, who are dealing with trauma in this moment of movement control, having to be apart from their loved ones and support system.
We urge the Royal Malaysia Police and the Attorney General Chambers to act swiftly without favour or fear.
Endorsed by the following JAG member organisations:
All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
Women's Aid Organisation (WAO)
Women's Centre for Change (WCC)
Foreign Spouses Support Group (FSSG)
Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
Sisters in Islam (SIS)
Sabah Women's Action Resource Group (SAWO)
Justice for Sisters
* The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) is a coalition of 14 women’s rights organisations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak.
*** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.