Claims Rumah Api girl forced to change sanitary pad openly a lie, IGP says

BY SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID
Khalid (centre) claimed the allegation was aimed at tarnishing the image of the Royal Malaysian Police. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KLANG, Sept 2 — The allegation made by a woman detainee who was arrested during a raid on an independent punk music venue in Kuala Lumpur that she and her friends were forced to change their sanitary pads in front of other police officers was a lie, the country's top cop Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

The inspector general of police claimed the allegation was aimed at tarnishing the image of the Royal Malaysian Police, and insisted that the police was incapable of doing such a thing as they would want to preserve their good reputation.

"That is a lie. It is an allegation meant to tarnish our reputation. Why would we do that, we too want to preserve our reputation," Khalid said when asked by the press on the matter here.

He did not state if the police had investigated the claim.

On Aug 28 some 100 youths were arrested in a surprise raid by the police during a performance last night on independent punk music venue Rumah Api in Ampang, news portal Malaysiakini reported.

It is unsure what the raid was for, although one of the witness who was there told news portal Malaysiakini he doubted the raid had anything to do with the Bersih 4 rally.

According to the news portal, one woman detainee claimed that eight of the menstruating women, including her, were not allowed to wear underwear and instructed to change their soiled sanitary napkins in the presence of a female police officer.

“I was wearing the pad with just the lockup pants. No underwear,” she was quoted as saying, adding that by the time she left the lockup, she was "broken in spirit".

She also alleged that while the detainees were allowed to contact family members and request for toiletries, the items never reached them.

The woman detainee was also quoted as saying that she and those arrested were being detained for attempting to overthrow the government by staging a revolution of sorts.

After they were remanded for three days, all had been released yesterday.