DAP welcomes Abdullah’s decision on royal commission on police which must be fully comprehensive and wide-ranging in terms of reference, comprise independent and credible commissioners, and producing results in terms of months and not years
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): DAP welcomes the decision of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to set up a royal commission to enhance the capability of the police but wants its terms of reference to be fully comprehensive and wide-ranging, comprise independent and credible commissioners, and producing results in terms of months and not years.
Abdullah is on the right track when he said that the royal commission’s remit would include public perception of the police force, a police force “well-versed in human rights when discharging its duties and dealing with members of the society”, issues like police brutality, poor service, corruption and other negative traits.
However, the terms of reference of the royal commission should be fully comprehensive and wide-ranging, as apart from the areas cited by Abdullah as falling within its scope, the royal commission should give top priority to eradicate the double rise in crime rate and the fear of crime, which have become the bane of present-day Malaysia as a result of the serious crime waves in the country turning many urban centres, in particular Johore Bahru, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Penang into crime capitals of the nation.
The foremost responsibility of the royal commission is to urgently address four challenges to end the double rise in crime rate and the new fear of crime in the country and to restore the people’s fundamental right to security and to feel safe in the streets, public spaces and the privacy of their homes, viz:
The royal commission, which should comprise independent and credible commissioners, should be required to submit its reports in terms of months and not years. Even if it is not possible for the royal commission to submit its full and final report in the next 12 months, it should be required under its terms of reference to submit interim reports on various aspects over a short-term time-frame measured in terms of months, so that recommendations on different aspects of police reforms could be initiated without being held up by other studies and recommendations.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman