Two immediate tasks for Parliament next month – pass law on Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission and form Select Committee on Police and Public Safety to exercise oversight of police function and government implementation of the 125 recommendations of Police Royal Commission
Media Conference Statement at Royal Police Commission Office
by Lim Kit Siang
(Kuala Lumpur, Monday): The establishment of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police is the first, and to date the most significant, reform measure in the 18-month premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Abdullah is to be commended for establishing the Police Royal Commission, the decision to make public the full Commission report and his reiteration after the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday that he is “committed to implementing recommendations that can improve the organisation and prestige of the Royal Malaysian Police as a capable and efficient law enforcement agency for the 21st century”.
As “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, the acid tests are now two: firstly, whether the Police Royal Commission’s 125 recommendations are wide-ranging and far-reaching enough to carry out meaningful police reform as to restore public confidence in the professionalism, efficiency, effectiveness, impartiality and integrity of the police force; and secondly, how far and how fast the government is prepared to implement these recommendations.
Abdullah said yesterday that he will chair a task force comprising government agencies such as the Public Services Department, Treasury Department and Attorney-General's Chambers and the Internal Security Ministry to evaluate and decide how best to implement the 125 recommendations made by the Police Royal Commission.
He said the task force would carry out detailed study of the recommendations and categorise them for immediate, medium and long-term implementation.
Four questions immediately come to mind;
It is premature to pass judgment on the Police Royal Commission Report and its 125 recommendations as the 607-page Report has just been made public, but two observations are in order.
Firstly, let me state that the full Police Royal Commission report in both Bahasa Malaysia and English should be posted immediately on the Internet on the Internal Security Ministry website, as in the practice in “First World” countries, or ICT has not yet truly arrived in Malaysia despite a decade of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).
Secondly, the disclosure by the Police Royal Commission Chairman Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah that the crown-jewel of the Commission’s 125 recommendations is its proposal of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) - an independent external oversight agency responsible for public complaints against the police.
This proposal is long overdue, as Malaysia is one of the few countries professing commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance where there is still no proper mechanism for civilian oversight of the police, i.e. people from outside the police force playing an effective role in calling the police to account for their actions, policies and organization and addressing public complaints against police misconduct in a fair and transparent manner.
As Parliament is next meeting on June 20, Abdullah should ensure that the Commission’s proposal for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission will be tabled in time for adoption and implementation.
Dzaiddin said the Commission had drafted a bill for the establishment of the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, which is annexed to the report.
Another matter that should be decided by Parliament next month is the formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Police and Public Safety to exercise oversight of the police function and government implementation of the 125 recommendations of the Police Royal Commission.
Parliament has therefore two immediate tasks next month – to pass the law to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission and to form a Select Committee on Police and Public Safety to exercise oversight of police function and government implementation of the 125 recommendations of Police Royal Commission.
I propose to seek a meeting with Abdullah on his return from his visit to Germany and Holland next week on the urgent need for the Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to be set up by Parliament next month, as well as for a Parliamentary Select Committee on Police and Public Safety.
I hope in my meeting with Abdullah to discuss other important national issues, including:
* Lim Kit Siang,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman