Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 17th February 2011:
Refusal to set up IPCMC the strongest proof of continuing lack of political will to eradicate police abuses and corruption
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s reiteration that the government still has no plans of forming an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is the strongest proof of continuing lack of political will to eradicate police abuses and corruption.
Malaysians will remember that it was Hishammuddin when he was Umno Youth leader who led the opposition to the establishment of the IPCMC more than five years ago when it was proposed by the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission as the most important of its 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional and world-class police force, going even against the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who had publicly committed himself to accept and implement the IPCMC recommendation.
It was the combination of political opposition from Umno and police opposition led by the police leadership at the time which forced Abdullah to backtrack and finally scuttled the IPCMC proposal.
The spate of high-profile cases of police abuse and custodial deaths in the past few years, whether A. Kugan, 14-year-old student Aminurasyhid Amzah, framemaker Chia Buang Hing and pregnant store owner Chow Soo Meng, as well as human rights abuses by the police as in the weekend mass arrests of 59 Hindraf marchers protesting the controversial use of Interlok as school textbook have again highlighted the need for an IPCMC where public complaints of police abuses could be seen to be addressed with full seriousness, authority, independence, impartiality and professionalism.
The Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission’s recommendations, including those for increased allowances, improved emoluments and upgrading of posts have largely been implemented except for the most important one going to the root of public confidence in the efficiency, integrity and professionalism of the police force – an IPCMC to demonstrate that the police will never be a law unto itself but is equally to account to the public for abuses and misuses of power.
With the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “People First, Performance Now” slogan, Hishammuddin as Home Minister should table a formal proposal to ask the Cabinet to revisit the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission’s IPCMC recommendation instead of continuing to spearhead opposition to IPCMC.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor