Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Bureau to probe detainees’ food quality


The Public Complaints Bureau will conduct a probe on the quality of food served for suspects in police lock-ups and political detainees following an uproar created by Teresa Kok, the Member of Parliament for Seputeh. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department T Murugiah said the bureau would also determine the amount of money allocated for each detainee’s meals per day. A report on the investigation will be handed to Prime Minister Datuk Sen Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, he told reporters after calling on Kok, who is also Selangor Local Government, Survey and Research Committee chairman, at her office here yesterday. “As the allegation has been widely reported in the newspapers and television, the people want to know the answer,” said Murugiah. Kok had claimed that one particular day she was served meals which were “slightly better than dog food” during her detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Murugiah said if an unofficial report was anything to go by, RM5. 80 allocated for each detainees meals per day, was inadequate as the prices of foodstuff had gone up. “The allocation may be good enough 10 or 20 years ago and it has to be reviewed. We will ask the Government to come out with a reasonable figure,” he said. Meanwhile, Kok, who was detained under the ISA from Sept 12 to 19, admitted that she was also served with chicken, mackerel and rice, and the taste of the dishes would depend on the cooks who prepared them. She said to supplement her meals, she was given Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex capsules by a doctor who also treated her for diarrhoea. Kok said political detainees should be served with a balanced diet which should include vegetables and meat. She added that as a political detainee she should not have been detained at a police lock-up first but should instead be taken straight to the Kamunting Detention Camp in Taiping. - Bernama

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