©Malaysiakini (Used by permission)
By Wong Yeen Fern
The Bar Council is in agreement with the police force that an appeals process should be included in the workings of the proposed watchdog Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Council president Yeo Yang Poh said the police force has suggested that those accused of misconduct should have recourse to the high court by way of appeals.
“This is currently missing (in the draft bill drawn up by the Royal Police Commission). This is what the police have pointed out and this suggestion is something with which we (the Council) agree,” he told a press conference today.
“We want the IPCMC to include an amendment to put an appeals process in place.”
Elaborating, he compared the IPCMC to a tribunal, in that it would investigate complaints against the police force, before leaving it to a court of justice to review the findings.
However, Yeo insisted that the IPCMC should be given authority in investigating complaints and gathering evidence, as well as “real enforcement powers”.
“It must have powers to issue binding orders, not mere recommendations. It is essential (for the orders) to have binding effect (under) the name of the IPCMC,” he said.
He said the setting up of the IPCMC has been supported by nearly 200 non–governmental organisations (NGOs) and other bodies.
Among them are the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH).
The Bar Council’s signature drive has gathered about 10,000 signatures from individuals as well as organisations to date.
“It shows that support for IPCMC crosses borders of politics, race and religious belief. This is very widespread support and it shows this is what Malaysians want,” he said.
Asked who should be appointed to sit on the IPCMC, Yeo said they should be people who have the confidence of the people and who will exercise their powers effectively.
“People who are appointed must have various kinds of knowledge (and could) for instance (be) former judges, lawyers and NGO representatives,” he added.
The council will hold a public forum on 'IPCMC: Yes or No?' at 8.30pm on Thursday at the SCAH.
Speakers include Parti Keadilan Rakyat Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor, former Suhakam commissioner Mohd Hamdan Adnan and Ex–Policemen’s Association vice–president Abdul Malek.