PUTRAJAYA: An independent commission will be set up to monitor alleged police misconduct and enable the public to air complaints about the force, says new Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said he hoped to take measures to restore the image of the force so that it would be able to regain public trust and confidence.
Muhyiddin said this at a press conference on his first day reporting for duty at the Home Ministry after being sworn-in together with 12 other Cabinet ministers before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara yesterday.
In 2005, a Royal Commission of Inquiry had recommended the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
However, then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shelved the proposal following opposition by the police and other parties.
Instead, the government subsequently set up the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) but it proved ineffective as it has to respond to complaints from 18 different government agencies and departments and does not have prosecuting powers.
Muhyiddin reiterated the pledge in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto to review several laws that are deemed unnecessary or inappropriate.
The legislations include the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, mandatory death sentence, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015.
“We will look into these laws and evaluate if there is a need to review or abolish them,” he said.
He also said he would give priority to reduce bureaucratic red tape holding up the registration of citizens, especially in rural areas.
“This will reduce the problems faced, especially by stateless Indians, who still have only red identification cards.
“Our focus will include those in Sarawak and Sabah. We will conduct an indepth study to solve citizenship problems,” he said.
Another area that would receive priority would be measures to reduce the crime rate and prevent drug abuse, he added.
Asked on the Home Ministry’s stand on the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), Muhyiddin said there would be no change in its operations.
“Esscom is important as there is still a threat to the country. We will continue with surveillance. So long as we feel that it isn’t safe enough, the curfew implemented will continue,” he said.
He said he hoped to make the country among the safest in the world, like Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
“We can emulate the measures taken by these countries, even though the state of our nation is different from theirs.
“But I hope that one day, we will be able to achieve a status where Malaysia will be a nation free from the fear of being harassed or harmed when we move around,” he said.
According to Muhyiddin, these issues would be taken up to the Cabinet that is expected to meet on Wednesday.