Suaram: “Absurd” to Place Police Oversight Body Under Home Ministry

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Human rights group Suaram said it is appalled by the government’s proposed new bill which would replace the previous Pakatan Harapan administration’s plans to introduce the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The group said that the IPCMC must be independent and not be placed under the purview of the Home Ministry.

“IPCMC is not a whimsical law introduced with no rhyme nor reason. It was a key element in the proposal by the 2005 Royal Commission of Inquiry intended to improve the police force and address the key concerns on police misconduct and safeguard police welfare,” said Suaram in a statement yesterday.

“The proposed bill introduced by the Pakatan Harapan administration has also undergone extensive refinement and consultation with various stakeholders.

“While there is undoubtedly room for further refinement and improvement, the bill is the culmination of the efforts by all quarters with compromises accepted by many,” the group added.

Suaram accused the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, by introducing a new bill, of “spitting at the face” of the various efforts put in by stakeholders to formulate the old bill.

The group called Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin’s statement “absurd and unacceptable” when he said the newly-proposed Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) would be placed under his ministry.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

They urged the government to retain the IPCMC Bill in its current form instead, as the police themselves already report to the ministry and thus any failure of the police would also be the ministry’s responsibility.

“The fact that IPCMC was recommended in the first place is a reflection of the complete and total failure in governance on the part of the Home Ministry.

“Placing IPCMC under the Home Ministry will only compound the existing failure of the ministry and defeat the whole purpose of IPCMC,” Suaram said.

On Monday, Hamzah reportedly told a press conference at the Parliament building that the government will table the IPCC Bill on Aug 26, which would replace the Harapan-era IPCMC Bill.

The IPCMC was proposed by a Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2005 but was only tabled as a bill in the Dewan Rakyat on July 18 last year.

Harapan’s proposal called for the existing Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission to be given additional powers and to be rebranded as IPCMC.

Debate for the bill was postponed several times until the Harapan government’s collapse. – Malaysiakini