Monday, October 10, 2011

1Cop misbehaved at Tung Shin and no more?

Malaysia seems to be stuck in broken record mode. From goodie budgets designed to bribe voters presented since 2008 (more on 2012 budget in a later post), no empty feel-good rhetoric, to a million other issues that never seem to be solved, the same-old, same-old is repeating itself ad nauseaum.

In 2010, I wrote an article asking why only 1Cop was charged for young Aminulrasyid's killing, and no other action was taken regarding the Selangor (then) top cop Khalid lying about the incident, the subsequent official cover ups and denials, and the other cops involved in the chase who manouvered their squad cars well enough to enable the shooters to take out all Aminulrasyid's tyres and finally end his short life.

The official story (now become a criminal conviction) of a lone cop was responsible for the tragedy beggars belief. But it seems this is the modus operandi of the police. Because we see the EXACT SAME process in the Tung Shin incident during the Bersih rally. First: lies, Second: denials and cover-ups, Third: absolve all cops from responsibility, Fourth: single out one low-ranking cop to take all the blame.

The Malaysian Insider reports:

"City police chief Datuk Mohamad Salleh pledged today that action would be taken against the police corporal responsible for the tear gas incident at the Tung Shin Hospital during the Bersih 2.0 rally. "

Is it true that only 1Cop was responsible? Take a look at these videos:

This shows a squad of riot police, standing outside the perimeter fence of Tung Shin, firing several rounds of tear gas in the general direction of the hospital.

This clip shows 2 clouds of tear gas billowing out near the main Tung Shin Hospital tower, one towards the front the lobby area of the main tower and another at the building beside the tower.

This clip shows cannons shooting chemical-laced water into the hospital compound, as well as 2 clouds of tear gas - one near the lobby of the main Tung Shin tower which was dissipating, and another at the greenery at the back of the compound starting to billow. Another gas cloud billows at the Chinese Maternity Hospital entrance.

This clip shows a tear gas canister in front of the building next to the Tung Shin tower.

This is a gas canister fired into the crowd standing near the entrance of the Chinese Maternity Hospital next to Tung Shin.

This is a clip showing a cornered group deep in the Tung Shin compound at a dead end, and a tear gas canister flies in from ABOVE!

This is another shot of the same group after the gas has dissipated. It also gives a little background of the crowd's movement that caused them to seek refuge in Tung Shin.

If you had been keeping count, that's AT LEAST FOUR canisters triggered WITHIN the Tung Shin compound and one at the Chinese Maternity Hospital entrance. As far as I can place them based on the video footage, the locations are roughly as follows:
There's one more location that I could not pinpoint (the small chanting group), but based on the design of the pillars/lights in the carpark area it is definitely around the Tung Shin / Chinese Maternity car park area.
That's HELLUVA coverage by only ONE rogue cop. 

And that's not all.

Police have standard operating procedures (SOP) and a strict chain of command (COC) during an operation. This is absolutely essential, partly to PREVENT personnel going berserk and doing whatever the hell they liked.

Basically, sergeants are in charge of the ground personnel (who are lower-ranked) and coordinate their actions based on commands from higher ups. Use of force and type of force used are also subject to SOP which dictates what to do and when. Ultimately, these actions and commands are focused on one thing only - to achieve the objectives of the operation decided by the commanders.

Now, does it make sense that a lone lance corporal (second lowest rank in the force) breaks away from the SOP and COC, running amok with his tear gas rifle and NOBODY NOTICES OR STOPS HIM? When at that time, there were hundreds of cops around the Tung Shin area together with their commanders?

Where was his sergeant-in-charge - why didn't he order the fler to stop or even physically restrain him if necessary? What about the other cops? If they had orders not to fire tear gas into the hospital compound, why didn't THEY stop the so-called "rogue cop"?

No...the more likely scenario is that the objective of the operation that day was - "kick their ass, show them who's boss!" That's why all along cops' chain of command, nobody gave a rat's ass that hospitals and religious buildings are internationally recognised places of refuge. They didn't gave a shit what effects tear gas has on sick patients.Or rather, they were NOT ALLOWED TO CARE BECAUSE THE OBJECTIVES OVERRIDES ALL OTHER CONSIDERATIONS.

SOP was definitely breached, but it is obvious that it is not merely the responsibility of a lone "rogue cop". Even if it was only 1Cop firing the tear gas, the fact that he was not stopped by ANY police personnel present places ALL of them equally responsible for allowing it to happen. The Chain of Command must also be held responsible as they allowed tear gas to be fired into the hospital compound. And the responsibility must be extended all the way up the chain of command.

So how far up does that go?

It certainly can't be just the cops because they're supposed to keep the peace. And the best way to keep the peace would have been to discuss nicely with Bersih 2.0 to see how the rally could be carried out peacefully. If they could close off roads for massive street parties and marathons, why not for Bersih? Instead, we saw the police antagonising the Bersih organisers. Obviously they were under orders from higher ups. And if we trace the chain of denials, it extends from the IGP, Home Minister, Health Minister, and right up to the Prime Minister.

With so many eyewitnesses (including police personnel), video evidence, and official press statements, why would they repeatedly deny it ever happened? We can only conclude that they fear it will damage them politically, which would indicate that they are responsible somehow. Of course, if one has done no wrong, what is there to fear?

So for all the barefaced lies and denials that went all the way up to the Prime Minister himself, the blame and accountability for this shameful incident MUST ALSO go all the way up to the Prime Minister, as all of these people were knowingly involved in the incident or knowingly allowed the incident to happen.

Of course, this being the BN and their cronies, they are never going to admit accountability.


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