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Notice given  to Parliament to present Police Royal Commissionís draft Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill in June  meeting  as private memberís bill but I am  prepared to withdraw it  to   give way to any official IPCMC bill by the government


Media Conference Statement(1)

by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): I have today given notice to Parliament to present the Police Royal Commissionís draft Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill in the June meeting  as a private memberís bill but I am prepared to withdraw  it to give way to any official IPCMC Bill by the Government.

Recommendation Twelve of the Police Royal Commission to ďEstablish independent oversight mechanismĒ in the form of IPCMC is the most important of all its  125 recommendations as it  is key and critical in determining  whether the Police Royal Commission will end up as a wasted effort like the previous Athi Nahappan Royal Commission Inquiry on Local Government whose proposal for the restoration of elected local government was ignored by the government or whether it would be able to make a significant impact in the transformation of the Malaysian police into a a world-class, 21st-century people-centric service which keeps crime low, upholds human rights and is  imbued  with zero tolerance for corruption.

I fully concur with the Royal Commission finding, supported by the Malaysian experience as well many modern policing systems overseas, on the urgent and indispensable need to set up an external oversight body as  internal police mechanisms alone are inadequate, unreliable and frequently ineffective.

The Commission had proposed that the IPCMC should be established by May next year but the urgency to immediately embark on the task to restore public confidence in the Malaysian police demands immediate parliamentary attention and action to start the legislative process to set up the IPCMC.

For this reason, it is urgent and imperative that the draft IPCMC Bill prepared  by the Police Royal Commission as an annexure in its Report should be tabled in the forthcoming parliamentary meeting starting on June 20 for deliberation despite its  inadequacies and shortcomings to ensure a truly independent and effective IPCMC.

Under the draft Bill, the seven-commissioner  IPCMC shall conduct oversight of the Malaysian police with the following principal functions and powers: 

  • receive and investigate, on its own or with other agencies, public  complaints about police misconduct.
     
  • to detect, investigate and prevent police corruption and other serious misconduct;
     
  • to propose measure to the Minister of Internal Security to improve police integrity, reduce misconduct and build public confidence in the police; and
     
  • Order such actions it deems fit against a police officer found guilty of misconduct, including caution and discharge of the police officer, suspension of allowances and increments, reduction in rank, fine or dismissal of the police officer.  The decision of IPCMC is final and unappealable.

Some of the inadequacies and weaknesses of the draft IPCMC Bill which would undermine  its independence and effectiveness include:

  • 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.

I will meet the Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department,  Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, to find out whether the government is prepared to introduce an official IPCMC Bill to Parliament, in which case, I will withdraw my private memberís bill on the IPCMC. 

If the government is not prepared to present any IPCMC Bill, I will propose to Nazri that the government accept my private memberís bill as the basis for the establishment of the IPCMC and the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee on the IPCMC Bill to receive public representations and the make recommendations on the final form of the Bill for parliamentary debate and passage within a period of three months.

I welcome Nazriís commitment to a ďFirst World ParliamentĒ in  his statement in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that he would be raising in the Cabinet tomorrow the proposal for  a parliamentary debate on the Police Royal Commission Report next month.  (Berita Harian)   In view of its importance, Parliament should begin its meeting on June 20 with the  Police Royal Commission Report as the main focus and the  first item of business Ė firstly, by having a three-day debate on the Commission Report; secondly, to approve  a motion to give leave for me to move a Private Memberís Bill on the IPCMC and thirdly, to set up a Parliamentary Select Committee on the IPCMC Bill.

(31/05/2005)      

                                                       


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