DAP calls for full debate on the Royal Police Commission Interim Report on
the first day of next parliamentary meeting on Sept. 1
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Thursday): Another tidbit of information about the Royal Police Commission Interim Report was revealed yesterday when the Commission Secretary, Datuk Hamzah Mohd Rus presented the Commission’s preliminary report to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar – that it is a 57-page report! But nobody knows how many recommendations have been made in the Interim Report!
It is most ridiculous and makes a complete mockery of the pledge by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that his administration will be characterized by the hallmarks of accountability, transparency and good governance that Malaysians are still denied full access to the Royal Police Commission’s Interim Report almost a week after its presentation to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
Malaysians must ask and wonder what is there in the Royal Police Commission’s Interim Report that it must be wrapped under the Official Secrets Act and kept hidden from the public domain – whether it is because of its trenchant and biting findings or inadequacies of recommendations.
Many Malaysians must be asking why the Commission Secretary is visiting the Inspector-General of Police to present him with a copy of the Interim Report, when what is most important and urgent is that the Interim Report should be made public and accessible to all Malaysians – including the 87,000 policemen and women in the country and not just to the Inspector-General of Police!
I fully endorse the statement by Bakri Omar yesterday that the majority of the 80,000 members of the police force are “good, honest workers”, and this is all the more reason why the majority of the “good, honest” police personnel should be given a chance to respond to the Commission’s Interim Report, which suggests that corruption is present “at every level” of the force, particularly in six areas, the commercial crime division, narcotics department, logistics department, anti-vice, gambling and secret service societies division and traffic police.
It has been rightly said that every organization has its “bad apples” but the question is whether they are dealt with seriously or the rot, whether corruption, illegal activity or inefficiency, is allowed to spread.
Malaysians have been told that the commission held a total of 26 public inquiries nationwide and also received memorandums from various bodies including political parties and professional groups. These are inconsequential information as what is more important are the findings and recommendations in the Interim Report, which should be made public so that they could be a basis for further public representations to the Royal Police Commission in the next six months.
There should be a full debate on the Royal Police Commission Interim Report when Parliament reconvenes next month to show that Members of Parliament are serious about the work of the Commission, in particular its preliminary recommendations as to what should be done immediately to firstly, restore public confidence in the efficiency, competence and professionalism to roll back the crime wave in the country to return to Malaysians their sense of personal safety and community security from crime and the fear of crime; and secondly, to declare an all-out war against corruption in the police force.
DAP calls on the Prime Minister to make public the Royal Police Commission Interim Report and to schedule a parliamentary debate on the report in the first day of the next parliamentary meeting on Sept. 1.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman