PETALING JAYA: The custodial medical units at five centralised police lockups around the country are expected to start operating soon, says the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
Its commissioner Jerald Joseph said all the training had been conducted and the physical material is in place.
“It’s like a small clinic in the lockup with enough equipment for a doctor, a nurse and an assistant to be there to check on detainees who are brought in.
“This, in the long run, will take away any suspicion in any death in custody or torture issue, ” he told a virtual press conference yesterday.
The units will be placed in the Lepas, Jinjang, Shah Alam, Bandar Indera Mahkota and Kepayan centralised lockups.
Joseph said Suhakam is now waiting for the launch, with the plan to start off with the lockups in Kuantan and Bayan Lepas over the next six months, while the other three will be launched based on the learnings from these two pilot projects.
“This is a good way forward and a standard in many countries where doctors must verify the health condition of a detainee – not a police officer who is trained to be a policeman, ” he added.
He also said the move is in line with Rule 10 of the Lock-Up Rules 1953, which states that medical officers must check each detainee to the best of their ability and verify that the individual is fit to be detained.
“The role and function of medical officers are crucial if we are going to ensure the number of deaths in custody decreases, ” he said.