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SUHAKAM calls for greater independence of police oversight body

Graphic: Police officer sits on a motorcycle

The Commission expressed its concerns about the recently tabled Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill 2020.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) wishes to express its concerns with the recently tabled Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020 as it does not capture the substantive essence of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill 2019 and the recommendations from the 2005 Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police.

SUHAKAM is especially concerned with the lack of independence and weakened functions of the IPCC as it is not accorded with disciplinary powers to deal with police misconduct.

The Secretary of IPCC is to be appointed by the Minister in charge of Home Affairs and the officers of IPCC may be appointed from any government agencies on secondment basis to be its investigators.

Moreover, the delegation of IPCC's powers to any members of the police may also raise issues of conflict of interest in terms of the IPCC's stated functions in the Bill and its independence.

Various stakeholders including SUHAKAM and civil society organisations have made numerous recommendations to the Government in the past with the hope to enhance accountability of the police and promote good governance in the country. However, this was not realised in the IPCC Bill.

Therefore, SUHAKAM reaffirms its call for an independent body to enhance the accountability of the police force and provide a system of check and balance as an oversight mechanism.

In view that the Bill will be tabled for second reading in the Parliament today, SUHAKAM hopes that the Members of the Parliament will scrutinise the bill and further improve the bill to live up to the public expectation for an independent body to enhance the accountability of the police.

Date: 27 August 2020

Source: SUHAKAM


Image credits

  1. Police officer sits on a motorcycle - Sham Hardy, Flickr CC