In Sarikei, Sarawak, police personnel reportedly tried to persuade a 19-year-old rape victim to drop her case against their 53-year-old colleague, a police corporal
According to a report in BorneoPost Online, the police corporal reportedly raped the girl inside the town's police station toilet.
They want her to give him another chance as he will be retiring in a few years' time.
And if that wasn't enough, a community leader in Sarikei reportedly tried to arrange a "settlement", saying the suspect's family was ready to pay money to the victim.
The incident and the subsequent shocking attempts to cover up the matter by authorities came to light on Saturday, 10 November
The 19-year-old victim and her elder sister revealed the details of the case at a press conference in Rejang Park, Sibu, in the presence of DAP's Lanang MP Alice Lau.
During the incident, which happened on 29 October, the police corporal took advantage of the girl's situation and forced himself on her inside the Sarikei police station's toilet.
According to the victim, she had boarded a bus from Kuching to Sibu at about 10pm on 28 October to celebrate her elder sister's birthday the next day in Sibu.
However, somewhere around 4am and 5am on 29 October, when the 19-year-old went to the toilet during a stop at a Sarikei bus terminal, the bus had left her behind.
"When I came out of the toilet, the bus had already left and realised that my purse and handphone were on the bus," the victim was quoted as saying in a report by The Star Online yesterday, adding that she then went to look for help.
She stopped a four-wheeler, which happened to pass by, and asked for help.
"I went with the man to chase after the bus but to no avail. I then used his handphone to tell my sister about the incident," the victim said, adding that she asked her sister to pick up her belonging when the bus she was travelling in would reach Sibu.
The victim's sister called back the man's handphone to inform that she got the belonging. It was at this minute that the man's demeanour began to change.
According to the statement given by the victim and her sister at the press conference yesterday, the man, under the pretext of keeping the girl safe, told her that he will take her to the police station
"When he stopped his vehicle at the gate of the police station, he started to molest me. He asked me to go into the toilet of the police station. I did what he said as I was in fear," the girl said, alleging that it was inside the toilet that the man raped her.
After that, he brought her to the bus terminal and gave her RM30 to take a bus to Sibu. When she reached Sibu, the victim confided in her sister the incident. Following which, her sister took her back to the Sarikei police station at 10am to lodge a police report.
While she was trying to report the crime that had been committed at their premises, one of the policemen accused the victim of lying
The 19-year-old victim then requested that an identification parade be held with all the policemen who were on the night shift that night so she could identify the suspect.
After identifying the suspect, who was a policeman, she informed one of the officers.
As her statement was being recorded, other police personnel there tried to persuade the victim and her sister to drop the case and give a chance to the suspect.
"Two to three policemen told my sister to drop the case, with the reason that the suspect will be retiring in two to three years' time," she was quoted as saying by The Star Online, adding that later on 8 November, a community leader in Sarikei called her to "settle" the matter as the suspect's family was ready to pay money to her.
However, the victim's sister has refused to drop the case or settle the matter.
Fearing for their safety and a cover-up by the police, the victim's sister got in touch with Lanang MP Alice Lau, who then informed the Deputy Home Minister in Kuala Lumpur about the case
Alice said the Deputy Home Minister told her that the police are investigating the case, adding that the deputy minister's report showed that the suspect is a police corporal.
According to the BorneoPost Online, she would bring up this issue in the parliament sitting on Monday and push for the government to set up Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to look into police complaint more effectively.
Meanwhile, The Star Online reported Sarikei OCPD DSP Awang Arfian Awang Bujang as confirming an investigation into the case
He said that the 53-year-old police corporal has been suspended during the investigation, adding that the suspect would indeed be retiring in a few years time.
"The man has a good record. We are unsure why he committed the alleged offence," DSP Awang was quoted as saying by the English daily today, 11 November.