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IPCMC not another “toothless Suhakam” - Abdullah should keep the deadline of the Royal Police Commission recommendation for it to be established by May this year
There would have been greater public trust and confidence if the Prime Minister had right from the beginning publicly committed himself to the establishment of the IPCMC when it was first recommended by the first Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission eight months ago in May last year, and not when it was reiterated by the second Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission (Squatgate Commission).
Although Abdullah has belatedly realized that public confidence in police reforms and his personal commitment to reform would have plunged to an even lower depth than before the establishment of the Royal Police Commission in December 2003 if the IPCMC proposal continues to be stonewalled and ignored, he should ensure that there is no more foot-dragging whether on the part of the police or the Attorney-General’s chambers to establish the IPCMC.
Abdullah said on Tuesday that the actual name, details and structure of the permanent IPCMC would be based on the Attorney-General’s recommendations to him. He said the Attorney-General’s Chambers has been directed to study the draft Bill on setting up the IPCMC as outlined by the first Dzaiddin Commission report.
This statement has caused considerable concern as it could be used as an excuse for further delays for another year or two before the establishment of the IPCMC.
Why must the Attorney-General’s Chambers be directed now to study the draft IPCMC Bill? Had the AG’s Chambers been sleeping in the past eight months on the draft bill when the Attorney-General was supposed to be heading the Laws and Procedures Sub-Committee to study the proposals of the first Dzaiddin Commission Report?
The eight-month game of procrastination and stone-walling of the recommendations of the first Police Commission Report and 125 recommendations must stop.
The Prime Minister should make a public commitment to keep the deadline of the Police Commission recommendation for the IPCMC to be operational by May this year, which means legislation for its establishment should be top priority of Parliament when it meets in March.
Since the submission of the first Dzaiddin Commission report in May last year, Malaysians have not seen any sign of a transformation of the Malaysian police into a world-class, 21st-century people-centric service which keeps crime low, upholds human rights and is imbued with zero tolerance for corruption – as proposed by the first Dzaiddin Commission.
The past eight months have in fact vindicated the Commission finding, supported by many modern policing systems overseas, on the urgent and indispensable need to set up an external oversight body against police misconduct, corruption and criminality as internal police mechanisms alone are inadequate, unreliable and frequently ineffective.
The draft IPCMC Bill proposed by the Royal Commission can be improved as it has some inadequacies and weaknesses which would undermine its independence and effectiveness, such as:
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman