The Malaysian Bar was not consulted on the Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill (IPCC), a watered-down version of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) tabled by the previous government in July 2019.
“With regard to the tabling of the IPCC Bill, we were not consulted on it. However, we are hopeful that the bill will be passed with close-knit provisions of the original version of the IPCMC,” said Malaysian Bar president Salim Bashir in a statement yesterday.
“Another aspect of our concern is that under section 30 of the IPCC Bill, the Independent Police Conduct Commission might be depowered in comparison with the original version of section 31 of the IPCMC Bill that clothed the commission with disciplinary authority,” he said.
“The Malaysian Bar wishes to be consulted and will be ready to assist to provide any input necessary to ensure that a comprehensive and effective IPCC Bill is implemented,” he said.
“We have worked tirelessly with various stakeholders in the past, and hope that the concerns by all parties will be addressed in the IPCC Bill,” added Salim.
The long-awaited IPCMC Bill was first tabled in Dewan Rakyat in July 2019, 14 years after the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police recommended the creation of an independent body to address complaints against the police.
However, the IPCMC Bill was referred to the Parliament’s Special Select Committee for further discussion three months later.
The bill was again sent to the Dewan Rakyat for first reading by the Pakatan Harapan government in December 2019 with 37 amendments made.
IPCMC Bill ‘butchered’
IPCC Bill was tabled in Dewan Rakyat for the first reading yesterday by the Perikatan Nasional government with the aim of replacing the IPCMC Bill.
Apart from not being able to take any action against errant police officers, the new body also lost the ability to review complaints of police officers who do not comply with rules or standard operating procedures, who fail to justify their actions when justification should be provided, and who commit criminal offences.
PSM deputy president S Arutchelvan, in his frustration, said it would not bother to even lodge complaints with the IPCC as it appeared not to be an independent body.
“We would prefer to make complains to Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) where we could at least see some form of independence.
“So please save our money and don’t waste time debating something which has no added value or use,” he said in a statement today.
“PSM calls upon the government to remove the “I” in the name of IPCC and just call it Police Conduct Commission (PCC). The PCC can then be kept in the respective police station to replace (the existing) JIPs (Police Integrity Department).
“Basically, the current government has butchered the bill so badly (that) it is better it is kept in the closet of the respective police departments. All the reasons why we wanted the IPCMC are now flawed,” he lamented.