Will there ever be an end to this?
While #JusticeForAGanapathy still trends across social media, another Malaysian man has died in police custody allegedly from breathing difficulties yesterday (20 May) morning, in just less than an hour after his arrest. The victim, 43-year-old Sivabalan Subramaniam, was brought to the Gombak District Police Headquarters for documentation purposes to assist in the investigation of a criminal intimidation case, as reported by BERNAMA.
The Gombak District Police Headquarters is the same location where A. Ganapathy was detained as well. Gombak police chief Arifai Tarawe said the suspect who was reportedly still wanted was arrested at 11.20am in front of a guard post at a factory premise in Taman Selayang Baru, Gombak.
After arriving at the Gombak IPD, Sivabalan started having breathing difficulties and the police contacted Hospital Selayang for emergency assistance. However, when the ambulance arrived to provide emergency treatment, Sivabalan was declared dead at 12.30pm. Initial checks revealed that Sivabalan who worked as a security guard had a history of heart disease and the case was classified as sudden death. Post-mortem results of the case are still pending.
In a video posted by Generasi Baru MIC, Sivabalan’s sister said that she received a call from the police station saying that her brother was in a serious condition and admitted to Hospital Selayang and they needed a family member to check on him. When Sivabalan’s mother arrived at the hospital and gave Sivabalan’s IC number, she was informed that the hospital had no record of him whatsoever.
At about 4pm, a police officer informed the mother that her son had already died due to breathing difficulties. When both, his sister and mother went to IPD Selayang, it was there that they were informed that Sivabalan had already passed away at 12.30pm.
“If he already passed away at 12.30pm, why was I called at 3pm informing that he was in a serious condition? That’s what we’re confused about. We want to know what exactly happened in there.”
Shankar Ganesh and Datuk Ganesalingam, who have been dealing with A.Ganapathy’s case, met Sivabalan’s family as well. Datuk Ganesalingam told WORLD OF BUZZ that Sivabalan’s case will be handled by an NGO.
Klang MP, Charles Santiago also released a statement on Facebook demanding a public inquiry with the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) taking the lead. He also said that all police officers who handled Sivabalan’s arrest must be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We have had one too many deaths in police custody and disproportionately involving ethnic Indians. I would, therefore, really like to hear from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as well.”
In an Instagram post made by The Loud Asians, they called that the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission) bill must be formed properly as soon as possible and more transparency on custodial transfers and deaths.
Arifai Tarawe spoke to Free Malaysia Today and said that he has been informed of the matter and it will be investigated.
When will blatant injustices such as this end? How many would have to die before actions are taken?
[UPDATE 1]: Organisasi Nambikkai has presented an inquest to Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin via email for an investigation to be conducted into this matter. They requested that the police chief and detectives involved should be called upon to give a statement regarding this.