Don’t wait 5 years to set up police watchdog body, urges NGO

CAGED spokesperson Thomas Fann says there is a need for an independent commission to punish police personnel who broke the law and haul them to court. (File pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: An NGO has urged Putrajaya to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as soon as possible to prevent the repeat of enforced disappearances.

Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) spokesperson Thomas Fann said the Pakatan Harapan government should not wait for five years, as promised in its manifesto.

CAGED was formed on May 5, 2017 in response to the lack of progress in regard to the probe into the abduction of four individuals.

“There is a great need to set it (IPCMC) up, not just for disappearances but to address other concerns we have about the conduct of the police.

“If something happens, who do you go to? The police, of course,” he told reporters at a regional conference on enforced disappearances here today.

Fann said there was a need for an independent commission to punish police personnel who broke the law and haul them to court.

Without the IPCMC, Fann said, it would be “impossible” to solve such matters.

But the IPCMC, he said, must also be empowered.

“We have so many independent bodies like Suhakam, but they don’t prosecute people in court.”

The IPCMC was proposed in 2005 by a royal commission of inquiry to enhance the operation and management of the police force.

The Malaysian Bar has been pushing for the IPCMC to be set up but the police have objected to it on grounds that the force should not be singled out for action.