Article and photo contributed by Firdaus Husni, Member, Bar Council Task Force on Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (“IPCMC”)
Firdaus Husni, member of the Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC, was invited to speak to students about police accountability at the annual ALSA National Legal Training Workshop held on 14 June 2017 at Brickfields Asia College, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The talk, organised by the ALSA Brickfields Asia College chapter, was attended by about 30 students.
Firdaus presented, among others, the data on the number of deaths in police custody, as well as case studies on deaths in police custody, police shootings and other forms of abuse by the police. In addition, she spoke about police complaints mechanism in other jurisdictions, and the proposal in 2005 by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission. However, the proposal was rejected.
Firdaus also highlighted the contrast between the number of complaints that the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (“EAIC”) received regarding just the police force, and the total number of complaints received, showing the need for a dedicated body looking into issues concerning the police force. She next spoke about the United Nations Convention Against Torture (“UN CAT”) which Malaysia has yet to ratify. Ratifying the UN CAT would demonstrate Malaysia’s commitment to the international human rights standard opposing torture.
The talk was well received, judging from the interactive session that took place with the students. Firdaus emphasised that civil society organisations and concerned citizens must play their part and work together to push for police accountability in this country.
We look forward to more opportunities to engage with students on police accountability and related issues.