Investigations on the Penan rape cases still ongoing?Posted: January 22, 2009
This article was in the StarOnline today:
KUCHING: Police will be professional in their investigation of the alleged sexual abuse of Penan women to ensure that any perpetrator will be brought to justice, CID director Commissioner Datuk Mohd Bakri Zinin said.
“We want to complete our investigation soon and make sure that the victims are protected,” he told reporters after meeting the state’s CID district chiefs here yesterday.
He said Penan representatives had indicated their willingness to assist the police in their investigation.
However, he said, the probe had to be handled carefully to prevent any miscommunication between investigators and the Penans.
Comm Bakri also said police had “no hidden interest” in the matter and were sincere in wanting to help the Penans.
“Our interest is just to help the Penans. If there are reports that some of them have been abused, we will investigate,” he said, adding that police had solved five cases involving the Penan community since 1994.
The article indicates that police investigations are still ongoing, and incomplete, even as I am typing this.
Perhaps you will remember that earlier this month, I sent an email to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development pertaining this issue. I asked of the outcome of the investigations that the Ministry carried out, and of the report that was supposed to come out in December.
To my surprise, I actually received a response from them, though it did not tell me much. They replied that the report has been handed to the Ministry, and that they will deliberate it before bringing it up in Cabinet (presumably some time in February), and will then decide whether to make a press statement after that.
Maybe the police are conducting separate investigations to that which were carried out by the ministry. But surely this case has been going on for too long. Far too long for the investigations to still be ongoing.
It’s good that there is still some news about this issue. At the very least, I know that it hasn’t been completely forgotten. But at the very slow rate that this is going, I can’t help but be reminded of a quote, one that we hear too often: “Justice delayed is justice denied”.