Forward    Feedback    


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

Media Statement (1)
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Friday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should be aware of the widespread public skepticism and cynicism which greeted his announcement on Tuesday on the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as to whether it would be effective and not another toothless Suhakam so as to  make a real difference in providing a meaningful mechanism to address complaints about  the quality of police service,  police corruption, misconduct and criminality.

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:

  • Limitation on the powers of IPCMC to call the Public Prosecutor to account for failure to prosecute police officers for misconduct such as police brutality, deaths in custody, mistreatment and abuse of detainees and prisoners including the torture and rape of inmates.
  • The IPCMC  itself has no powers of prosecution. Under the Securities Commission Act and the Securities Industries Act, the Securities Commission is empowered to prosecute.
  • Whistleblowers Protection provision to protect police officers for blowing the whistle on any police wrongdoing.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: