©The New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by Adib Povera
KUALA LUMPUR: The Inspector–General Standing Orders (IGSOs) should not be an escape route for the Inspector–General of Police (IGP) from being investigated under the soon–to–be–established Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Malaysian Bar Council vice–president Datuk Roger Chan Weng Keng said excluding the top cop from being scrutinised for his misconduct was unconstitutional.
It also contravenes the principle of equality, which is enshrined under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.
"There should be no protection for the IGP. I am not making suggestion but I think the IGP should also come under the purview of the IPCMC.
"There should not be any exception in respect of police misconduct and that the IGSO should not be an escape route for the IGP.
"These orders normally cover the Official Secrets Act, but I think the IGP should be included (investigated by the IPCMC)," he said after chairing a briefing on the IPCMC Bill 2019 here today.
Among those present were the council€s IPCMC task force chairman Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) member Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Md Yunus.
Ramachelvam said according to previous briefings on IPCMC to the task force, complaints lodged against the IGP would be scrutinised by a different disciplinary regime that is set up to investigate misconduct involving senior government officers.
Ramachelvam said: "They seemed to say that there is an existing process and that should not come under the purview of IPCMC.
"Our view is that it (misconduct and complaints against IGP) should not be excluded from the principal bill or the Act.
"All issues (involving police misconduct including by the IGP) must come under IPCMC."
Other concerns raised over the Bill, which was tabled for its first reading last month in the Dewan Rakyat, include the €omnipotent powers€ possessed by the prime minister in some of the provisions in relation to the IPCMC.
"He (the prime minister) can change the rule with respect to the IPCMC laws," said Chan.
"He can also change the entire character because he has the power of rules and even funding for that matter."
Hishamudin said he hoped that the Bill would not be passed without taking into consideration of the concerns and views raised by various stakeholders.
"There are many things that need to be improved for the law to have bite and be effective as well as for the commission to enjoy both the trust of the public and trust police force."