PETALING JAYA: All police lockups should be fitted with closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems that both display and record in real-time to ensure the safety of detainees, says Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (pic).
The Housing and Local Government Minister said CCTVs nationwide should be switched to proper working models to enhance the transparency and integrity of the police force after a 16-year-old was allegedly raped at a police lockup in Miri.
"The police and the Home Ministry need to provide an update on whether the Miri police station has been equipped with a CCTV system that monitors and records detainees' activities to prevent the same thing from happening again," she said.
On Monday (Feb 8), Sarawak police commissioner Comm Datuk Aidi Ismail said the two police personnel on duty during the incident have been suspended pending an investigation into the matter.
He also said the CCTV system at the lockup could only display footage in real-time but could not record anything, adding that the crime had happened in the toilet where there was no CCTV.
It was also reported that the girl, who was suspected of being involved in an illegal gambling activity at a seafood restaurant where she worked, had been placed in a cell separated from 12 male detainees but she alleged that the men's cell was unlocked.
She also claimed that a detainee managed to get the key to the women's lockup between 4am and 5am and brought her to the toilet.
The rape suspect has since been charged for rape under Section 376 of the Penal Code.
Zuraida also said she was shocked that the crime would happen at a place meant to uphold the law and protect the people.
She also proposed harsher penalties for those convicted of such crimes.
"They not only violated the law but also disgraced the police force. This would also serve as a warning to prevent others from committing the offence," she said.