KUALA LUMPUR: Not very long after a barrage of questions were raised over police methods in controlling the recent Bersih 3.0 protesters, the action used against Mat Rempit has also come under scrutiny, with posers on the police personnel's actual adherence to standard operating procedure (SOP).
The death of traffic policeman Cpl Mustaghni Tabri, 48, who was accidentally struck on the head by an object believed to have been thrown by a policeman at a Mat Rempit trying to escape in an operation against illegal racers in Kampung Raja Uda, Klang on June 3, has put the spotlight on unbecoming police methods to stop fleeing bikers.
The revelation that Mustaghni was hit by an object allegedly flung by a colleague attempting to stop a biker has caused concern among the force and public.
Mustaghni's death has been classified as murder, and a police officer is now in custody. Four other policemen, who were earlier detained, have been released.
It was only in March that police were criticised for their actions in two cases involving Mat Rempit.
The first on March 4 in Penang involved motorcyclists who reportedly fell from their machines with one of them warded in hospital.
Enraged local residents laid siege and threw sticks and stones at the Teluk Bahang district police station, later that day.
In the second, a week later in Tangkak, Johor, a police officer in an operation against Mat Rempit, allegedly kicked one of them, causing him to fall off his motorbike.
The incident went viral after a video was posted on social media networks, drawing scathing criticism from the public.
In March, Inspector--General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar admitted that the throwing of objects at Mat Rempit or any traffic offender was not the force's SOP.
He had also said that kicking a Mat Rempit to stop him was also not allowed.
Following the Klang incident, Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah declared that throwing objects to nab Mat Rempit is against the police force's SOP.
He said Section 15 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states that minimal force is to be used.
However, Tun Hisan said he could not specify to what extent policemen could go to detain a motorist.
"There is no straightforward answer It depends on the circumstances and situation the officer faces when arresting a Mat Rempit," Tun Hisan said.
"We need to consider the state of mind of the policeman making the arrest."
Police had first detained six suspected Mat Rempit, including five students, age 16 to 22, to facilitate investigations.
They were questioned and released on bail.
Mustaghni died on Friday after being in a coma for six days.