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IGP speech – most positive sign in the past 10 months that the police leadership is not totally resistant to public aspirations for police reform to become a world-class service and that Royal Police Commission recommendations will not be a complete waste of time and resources
in the past 10 months that the police leadership is not totally resistant to public aspirations for police reform to become a world-class service and that the Royal Police Commission recommendations will not be a complete waste of time and resources.
It marks the end of the 10-month denial by the police leadership of police weaknesses and the need for far-reaching reforms if we are to have a clean, efficient, professional, human rights-sensitive, world-class police service.
It is also a police recognition and acceptance that how there could be a world-class police service is not just an exclusive police matter but a national issue which concerns every Malaysian who has the right to give his or her input in a democratic society.
I am particularly glad that Bakri has adopted the Royal Police Commission language when he urged the police “to be progressive and provide world-class service” – the first time that the language of “world-class police service” has been used by a top police officer after the publication of the Royal Police Commission Report in May last year.
Bakri should have announced the top police leadership’s acceptance of the most important proposal of the Royal Police Commission – the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) – which would have gone even further to restore public confidence of full police co-operation to create a clean, efficient, professional, human rights-sensitive world-class police service.
There is no basis whatsoever for the mischievous view that the proposed IPCMC is meant to harass, demoralize and humiliate the 100,000-strong police personnel, when it is admitted that police black-sheep comprised only one per cent of the police force.
Furthermore, examples of similar external oversight mechanisms in other countries like United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia to deal with public complaints about police abuses of power, corruption and criminality are standing proof that such mechanisms have the effect of ensuring public confidence in the efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism of the police service.
Malaysians want to have an IPCMC so that they have a world-class police service they can be proud of, instead of one which has forfeited public trust and confidence.
Even more important, recent reports of police opposition to the Royal Police Commission Report and its recommendation on the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission has turned this key recommendation for an external oversight mechanism for police abuses of power, corruption and criminality into a litmus test as to whether the police accept the full authority of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and Parliament to set the policy direction for the police service.
I always believe in giving credit where credit is due, and I commend Bakri for his speech yesterday in restoring my faith and confidence that police reform and the establishment of the IPCMC is not a totally lost cause.
In his speech yesterday, Bakri criticized police officers for not having copies of the Police Act and other relevant legislation needed for their job.
I would go one step further – that the reports by the two Royal Police Commissions and the Suhakam reports pertaining to the police should be “must reading” for all police officers, including the OCPDs.
In fact, there should be at least two copies each of the two Royal Police Commissions Reports in every district police headquarters – one for the OCPD and other police officers and another one for members of the public.
I have written to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, asking for a meeting about the Royal Police Commission recommendations as the Inspector-General of Police has declined to have such a meeting.
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