Here's How Many People Have Died In Malaysian Police Custody Since 2010

Most of them were Malays.

Cover image via AP

1,654 people have died in police custody from 2010 till February 2017. 1,037 of the deceased were Malays.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Wikimedia Commons via Asian Correspondent

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed today, 13 March, that more than a thousand people have died under police custody in Malaysia in the past 17 years.

"The statistics for death in custody from 2010 to February 2017 is 1,654 people, while the occupants received further treatment at the hospital from diseases like HIV, cancer, heart attack, blood issues, lungs, TB, asthma and other diseases," said Zahid in a written parliamentary response to DAP MP Kasthuri Patto, as reported by Malay Mail Online.

Out of the 1,654 people, 1,037 were Malays, 222 were ethnic Chinese, 185 foreigners, 182 ethnic Indians, and the remaining 28 were from other ethnicities.

The deputy prime minister stressed that the authorities will not "compromise or protect" any enforcement officers if they are found to have played a hand in the deaths of people in custody

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

Image via Malay Mail Online

This was in response to Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri, who had asked the Home Ministry to provide details on the number of deaths in custody since the 2000s in relation to the latest custodial death of S. Balamurugan.

44-year-old S. Balamurugan died in police custody at the North Klang police headquarters on 7 February. Balamurugan was arrested on 6 February for alleged robbery and taken to the magistrate's court the day after. He had vomited blood during the remand proceeding.

Following the incident, the court had ordered the police to take Balamurugan to the hospital but he was instead taken to the police headquarters where he died later that day. The second post-mortem conducted on the victim confirmed that he had suffered "multiple beatings" while in custody.

Zahid had refused to comment on Balamurugan's case, as the case is still under investigation.

It was also reported that there have been three deaths in custody in just three months since the year 2017 started

In a report by The Star in 2015, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said that 95% of the deaths in police custody from the year 2010 till 2014 were due to natural causes.

He added that out of the 51 cases reported in the span of four years, only one was due to police misconduct.

Cover image for illustration purposes only.

How do you think the number of custodial deaths can be reduced? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Just a few weeks after the death of S. Balamurugan, another detainee died while in police custody:

With cases of custodial deaths piling up, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched (PDRM) Smart Lock-Up system last year to ensure safety of detainees:

Speaking of deaths in custody, Malaysian rapper Namewee wrote a song about the horrific state of Malaysian prisons in November 2016:

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