MALAYSIA — Social media is abuzz with videos and pictures showing Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) enforcement officers allegedly roughing up an old man who was trying to protect his dogs from being captured.
One of the videos shows a group of uniformed council officers carrying dog-catching iron rods while confronting the elderly man, who was attempting to safeguard his dogs from being taken away.
The incident took place on Thursday (23 Mar) at around 8.55 pm-9.00 pm on Jalan 18/17 Taman Kanagapuram Petaling, and was recorded by Facebook user Rekha Morgan, who witnessed the officers allegedly assaulting the elderly man on her way home.
She shared that the old man was trying to to prevent the officers from capturing and harming his dogs, but they allegedly threatened and used an iron rod to hit him.
A CCTV video recording shared on Ms Rekha’s Facebook page shows the old man trying to bring his dogs inside his premise while the officers recklessly attempted to capture the dog with iron rod, leading to a confrontation between the old man and the officers.
Ms Rekha who witness the heated argument asked these officers stop harassing the elderly man further, and told them this is not the right way to carry out their duty.
The officer allegedly responded by saying, “kita government , memang begini kita buat kerja”. “Report polis la”(“We are the government, this is how we do our work; Report it to the police la).
Ms. Rekha believed that the officer was implying that acting like barbarians and manhandling the helpless general public is a norm while carrying out their duty.
She later explained the situation to the uncle, and he eventually agreed to hand over three of his dogs, including a puppy.
“The uncle mentioned that the officers didn’t explain their intention and failed to show any reports, or official id and immediately started attacking him.”
Old man suffered injuries to jaw and cheek
Ms Rekha said the old man sustained injuries to his jaw and cheek, as well as a cut on his wrist, as a result of the alleged brutality of the officer.
“I’m the eye witness of this brutality. No one person in their team questioned or stopped the other officer from violating the old uncle who was all alone when the incident took place, ” Ms Rekha said.
Ms Rekha further noted that she been seeing this uncle and these dogs for years.
Ms Rekha, who has been seeing the uncle and his dogs for years, mentioned that the old man takes good care of them by feeding and providing shelter at his own expense.
“These dogs are harmless and even if there is mistake committed by him, physically or verbally abusing anyone in the name of power is hard NO.”
Ms Rekha further criticized the officers’ actions, stating that it was a classic example of power abuse in the name of duty, “Hooligan in the name of ‘kakitangan kerajaan(government officials)'”.
Witness lodged police report regarding incident
According to Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR), a non-profit team that dedicated to saving abused animals, the founder of MIAR, the victim Uncle Khoo, and the witness had lodged a police report against the brutal behavior of MPBJ officers in assaulting this man and violently capturing the dogs.
MIAR criticised the city council officers for cruelly catching dogs and exerting violence on an innocent man.
he Malaysia Animal Welfare Association has stated that this incident is not the first time the dog catchers council has behaved in such a manner.
“The way they behave towards the public is rude and at times physical. The workers will harm the public physically but will defend themselves by saying that the members of the public are interrupting their job, ” the animal rights group told New Straits Times.
“Hence, internal, relevant authorities, as well as the police, should investigate the matter further.”
MBPJ says investigating the matter
In a statement issued on Friday(24 Mar), the city council said they has taken note of the viral video on social media regarding the incident between the council’s staff and a member of the public during a dog-catching operation.
“In response to the incident, an Internal Investigation Committee has been established, and the case is currently under investigation. ”
“MBPJ wants to emphasize that they will not compromise and will protect any staff member who is proven to have committed an offense.”