Current Affairs

IGP should tell the Police to apply law with common sense

By Teresa Kok

I find it shocking that given the widespread backlash against Police’s recent questioning of the SK Seri Pristana pupils without the presence of their parents, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid has spoken in defence of his subordinates.

It was reported that Khalid has said that there is no need for the police to obtain parents’ consent or ensure their presence when questioning children, adding that there is nothing in the law that says police need to get the parents’ consent.

IGP had asked this question-“Who said we can’t question children?”

Those who have opposed the police “interview” of the pupils have argued about the trauma that will be inflicted on their children when being questioned without the presence of their parents.

The point is not about if police can “interview” the pupils, so there is no need for such an arrogant question from Tan Sri Khalid. Public have expected the Police to act with common sense, yet the IGP was talking about the strict interpretation of the law. Perhaps the IGP feels the need to support his men, but the attempt to do so by relying on the technicality of the law will make the attempt futile.

Even if the law does not say so, it should be obvious that parents should be around. This is plain enough to all.

The IGP ought to know that the pupils are not suspects in the meals in changing room incident and there is no justification whatsoever for Police to interview them without the parents’ presence. His remarks have come on the heels of public anger against police’s detaining and questioning thenational laureate A Samad Said in the wee hours.

Again, in the case of A Samad, IGP had asked why could not the Police detain him at midnight.

My reply and reminder to him again is, don’t just talk about law but apply them with common sense. And if the IGP is yet able to see why there has been backlash against the Police in the SK Seri Pristana and Pak Samad cases, let me give him the answers.

In the school issue, the Police were insensitive and did not consider the children’s young age and the psychological impact on them. In A Samad’s case, the Police were insensitive and did not respect the elderly.

As the nation’s top cop, IGP should give good guidance and public image to the Police force. Police role is not just being law enforcer; they have to be work with the public to achieve their mission of ensuring public safety. Public trust and confidence in the Police is therefore necessary and essential.

Tan Sri Khalid should therefore retract his statement and also tender an apology to the pupils’ parents.

One comment on “IGP should tell the Police to apply law with common sense

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