KUALA LUMPUR: The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) should be given more bite in the form of prosecutorial powers for it to carry out its responsibility.
Law expert Prof Datuk Salleh Buang said the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) formed under former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi proved to be ineffective because it had only powers to recommend.
“EAIC can only make recommendations. It has no clout. Cases of abuse and misconduct continue. The Bar Council had long recommended that the new body should have the power to prosecute.
“Under the Securities Commission Act and the Securities Industries Act, the Securities Commission has the power to prosecute.
“If we want IPCMC to have any bite to do its work, it has to be given prosecutorial powers,” he told the New Straits Times.
Salleh said IPCMC’s independence must be spelt out and ensured in the new law establishing it.
“A Royal Commission had recommended in 2005 that IPCMC must be an independent body. Its independence, not subject to any external influence of control, will inspire public confidence that it can do the job it is entrusted with.
“The members of the IPCMC must be people of standing, proficient in police matters, well-known for their integrity and sense of justice,” he said.
Salleh also proposed that the IPCMC Bill can made available as part of a Consultation Paper for the general public and stakeholders.
This is to submit their feedback to the government in line with the principles of good governance, he said.
Salleh said the establishment of the IPCMC was long overdue, adding that it is the best authority in the form of an external and independent body to check on the police.
“The IPCMC is an independent and external body. Its establishment is the natural next step after the establishment of GIACC (National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre) and the launching of the National Anti-Corruption Plan.
“I am aware that two former IGPs (Inspector-General of Police) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and Tan Sri Musa Hassan were against the idea of setting up IPCMC. Musa was quoted as saying that amending Article 140 of the Federal Constitution to give IPCMC disciplinary control could lead to ‘manipulation of the police force’. However, another former IGP, Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar, is supportive of the idea.
“Former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai said that IPCMC would ‘not necessarily work against the police force’. He also said the IPCMC Bill was drafted by the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2005, its formation being one of the recommendations at the end of the RCI.”
Salleh said the IPCMC should also oversee the police force in matters of discipline.
“Receive and investigate complaints against police personnel on abuse of power, corruption, misconduct, dereliction of duty, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, failure to investigate, assault and excessive force, mistreatment at police stations or lock ups, discrimination, unlawful stop and search.
“Take enforcement measures against any member of the police force for breach or discipline or misconduct,” he added.
Source : Newstraitstimes
Date : 13/05/2019