SIBU: The alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at the Miri police station lockup by a male suspect on Jan 9 should be a wake-up call to all police stations in the country, says a Sarawak lawmaker.
Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang, whose constituency is within the Miri district, said public confidence in the police needed to be restored.
She welcomed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador's statement that those responsible for the alleged rape would be charged in court.
She also said the police should explain why there was an apparent violation of Child Act 2001 as a juvenile was in a police lockup and no female officer assigned to take care of her.
The police also have to answer why the lockup CCTV was not functioning and did not capture the alleged crime, she said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 19).
Chang said incidents like this, which happened in a police station, could affect public confidence in the police.
Adding that not every police officer nor police station deserved to be tarred with the same brush, she said such incidents did nothing to assuage any negative perception of the police as a whole.
She called on the police to practise transparent decision-making and be accountable.
Chang also commended the victim for her courage in reporting the alleged rape, noting that it was the "most demoralising" type of crime.
She said the victim would now have to deal with the stigma of the incident.
"She may also have to relive the nightmare... during (any) court case against the suspect," she said.