Confer with cops on IPCMC, ex-CID chief tells committee

Zaman Khan Rahim Khan says police officers should be engaged before a report on IPCMC is submitted to the Council of Eminent Persons. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Bukit Aman CID director Zaman Khan Rahim Khan has called on the government’s Institutional Reform Committee to consult former and current police officers on the issue of implementing the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

He said the five-person committee should hold an open forum with them rather than decide by itself to revive a plan to set up the commission.

“Be open about it. They should call some of us, the retired ones and those who are still serving, to have a friendly talk where we can exchange views and reduce misunderstandings on the issue,” he told FMT.

Zaman was commenting on the committee’s recommendation announced yesterday for the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) to be either revamped or replaced with IPCMC.

IPCMC was among the recommendations from the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into police reform chaired by former chief justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2004.

It was intended to provide an appropriate external check-and-balance on the police. However, the government did not take up the idea although it was contained in the RCI report issued in 2005.

Zaman said he had not agreed to the formation of IPCMC back then.

He said current and former policemen would want their opinions to be heard before the committee finalised its report on the matter to the Council of Eminent Persons.

“If they want to do it, they can do it. But they should meet us first,” he said.

Lawyer Visvanathan Murugiah also said the committee should engage the police for the force’s views on IPCMC.

He said the police might agree for the body to supervise them if they became aware of what good it would bring to them.

“IPCMC is good for the law enforcers because it can enhance their work integrity and also look into their welfare,” he said.

Visvanathan, who has taken up cases related to deaths in police custody, said establishing the commission was the way forward if the government had the political will to clean up the force.

Senior lawyer SN Nair called on the Pakatan Harapan government to table the IPCMC bill, saying it had been “buried” for too long.

“This is the best time for the government to implement IPCMC and give the body more bite in terms of investigating alleged misconduct, and prosecuting or recommending criminal charges on alleged culprits,” he said.

He claimed that it would lead to a significant reduction in police misdemeanour.

He added that leaders in the government under former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not pushed the bill when it was conceived as they were intimidated by the police.

The Malaysian Bar had pressed for the IPCMC to be set up for over 10 years, but the police objected on grounds that the force should not be blamed for actions of individuals serving in it.