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Dec 29, 2007

Ex-cop's plight: Police deny racial

Ex-cop's plight: Police deny racial discrimination
RK Anand Dec 29, 07 3:11pm Malaysiakini

There were no elements of racial discrimination in the case involving former policeman John Stevens, according to the police.This was the message relayed to MIC social arm Yayasan Sosial Strategik (YSS) northern region coordinator James Raj by Perak deputy police chief Hadi Ho Abdullah at a recent meeting.Speaking to Malaysiakini today, Raj said Hadi told him that the police visited Stevens and his family 24 times, both at the hospital and their house.“Hadi stressed that the police did not abandon him and that there was no racial discrimination in the matter,” he added.

On Monday, Malaysiakini highlighted the plight of the Stevens’ family, eliciting an immediate pledge to help from MIC president S Samy Vellu.Apart from allegations of harassment and neglect, the family of the 61-year-old retired lance corporal also questioned why Stevens (left) - who suffered a stroke in 1999 - was not allowed to go on medical board, where he could get a certification from an independent panel of doctors that he was unfit for work.According to Raj, Hadi explained that Stevens’ condition deteriorated upon his retirement in 2001 but prior to that, the doctor had certified him as being fit for desk duties.“The police also offered the family RM700 out of goodwill but Stevens had rejected this amount, asking for more,” he said.

Raj said the police are also looking into the family’s complaint that Stevens, who served in the police force for 34 years, had not received his January 2001 salary.“I will be meeting Hadi on Monday to get an update on this,” he added.He also said Hadi told him that the police could help Stevens with his medical expenses, provided the family produces the necessary receipts. Education loan and more

Meanwhile, Raj said he visited the family on Dec 26 to record their complaints in order to determine how YSS could assist them.Subsequent to this, he said the MIC social arm is looking into several areas such as financial aid from the police, medical assistance, the medical board application and monetary assistance for Steven’s son, John Patrick’s education. Raj said Samy Vellu agreed to extend a RM4,000 scholarship for John, who is a final-year law student, in order to complete his studies.“We are also looking into the possibility of getting a prosthetic leg for Stevens (whose right leg has since been amputated due to diabetes - photo, right) and the necessary arrangements have been made for this.

“We are also looking at ways to help the family with their housing loan,” he added.Contacted later, Steven’s wife Elizabeth Packianathan expressed her gratitude to the MIC president for looking into their plight.“We are overwhelmed by his (Samy Vellu) prompt response. Our family would like to thank MIC and its president for helping us resolve our problems,” she said.


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