©The New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by Hana Naz Harun
KUALA LUMPUR: The draft of the proposed new Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill should be released for public consultation before being tabled in Parliament.
Malaysian Bar Council IPCMC taskforce chairman Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam said input from stakeholders was needed, including from the Bar Council and civil society groups.
“Good interaction on what needs to be done and what should be in the bill is needed before the bill is tabled in Parliament,” he said.
“It is imperative that the bill receives widespread consultation to take into account various suggestions for improvements to the bill.”
He said this after a stakeholders roundtable meeting at the Bar Council building, here, today.
Ramachelvam said implementing the IPCMC was important to boost the reputation and standing of the police.
He said the police oversight body was not something that should be viewed negatively, adding that it was in the national interest for the IPCMC to be established.
“IPCMC would be a positive thing for the police. It is not meant to be punitive, and not there to punish them, but to ensure integrity of the police force,” he said.
The IPCMC bill in its final form, he added, should retain a provision to provide the body with powers to mete out disciplinary orders.
These include the power to caution, reduce badges of honour, demote, suspend and dismiss.
He stressed that the IPCMC would not have powers to prosecute the police for criminal offences, but have the power to suggest that investigations be carried out.
“The current police force commission has many powers over appointment, pension, promotion and discipline.
“Taking away (disciplinary powers) in full or in part would not affect the inspector–general of police’s command over the police force,” said Ramachelvam.
The original bill for the IPCMC, which was drafted in 2005, was a result of engagement by police with civil society groups and representatives from the Bar Council in a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) which called for a review of certain aspects of police authority.
Inspector–General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador had expressed his support for the government’s efforts to improve the effectiveness, welfare and image of the police.
Hamid, as quoted in a news portal recently, said he would ensure that the police would get the “best outcomes from all aspects” of the IPCMC while the public would feel protected and receive the best services.