VALLETTA (Malta): The video clip showing a naked woman doing ear squats while watched by another woman in uniform has shamed the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He said the incident had dealt a blow to the country’s image and pledged a thorough investigation into the issue.
No party should attempt to conceal any facts that might be uncovered as a result of the investigations, said a visibly-upset Abdullah, who called Malaysian journalists here to give his comments before rushing off to attend the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting yesterday.
Malaysian newspapers had front-paged the incident after Seputeh MP Teresa Kok showed the video clip at Parliament House on Thursday.
The 70-second video clip, said to have been taken with a cellphone-camera, had been circulated through the multimedia messaging service (MMS) over the past few days.
The video clip has led viewers to link it to the ordeal of four women from China who had alleged they were mistreated and humiliated while in police custody recently.
Abdullah said he had called Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and instructed him to thoroughly and immediately investigate the matter.
“Stern action must be taken (against those involved). This is important because the incident has caused embarrassment to the police force,” the Prime Minister said.
In Kuala Lumpur, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also pledged a thorough investigation, saying the video clip was the first documented evidence of a detainee being abused.
“This is the first time we have obtained evidence from a video clip,” he said.
“We have to know what actually took place and who were responsible in this particular incident,” he said.
“If the video clip is true, it can tarnish the image and integrity of the police and the Government.
“I look at this (incident) as a serious matter. It should not have happened in the first place.”
To a question, Najib said strip-searching was not part of the procedures to examine those held under police custody.
“We don’t indulge in that. There is no reason to embarrass and intimidate people in that manner,” he said, declining to say whether such practices were rampant.