Disciplinary control for police recognised in constitution, MP says

Placing the power for disciplinary action under the proposed IPCMC has drawn protests from police officers.

PETALING JAYA: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh today criticised opposition by the police to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), saying the Federal Constitution itself recognises that the force must be subject to public scrutiny and disciplinary control.

He cited Article 140 of the constitution which reads: “Provided that Parliament may by law provide for the exercise of such disciplinary control over all or any of the members of the police force in such manner and by the prime minister, and may once refer the recommendation back to the commission in order that it may be reconsidered”.

“Such a proviso clearly recognises that the Police Force Commission itself may require guidance and recommendations from an independent body when carrying out disciplinary control over members of the force,” he said in a statement today.

His remarks follow reports yesterday that the police will meet with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to submit their protest over several issues pertaining to the IPCMC.

Ramkarpal Singh.

Then-top cop Mohamad Fuzi Harun said this included withdrawing the powers of the Police Force Commission, set up under Article 140 of the Federal Constitution.

However, Ramkarpal, who is also chairman of DAP’s National Legal Bureau, said there is nothing new about having an independent body to oversee complaints related to the police, adding that countries like England have already introduced such agencies.

“The objections raised by the police over the setting up of the IPCMC are unfounded and ought not take precedence over the bigger interest and priority of setting up the said body, namely to bolster transparency and accountability of the force.

“With over 1,800 death in custody cases from 2010 to 2017 and the recent findings of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission that Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh were victims of enforced disappearance, it is high time that a body with sufficient and effective investigative powers be established to monitor disciplinary issues when it comes to the police which will, undoubtedly, improve the efficiency of the force and serve as an avenue for the public to air their grievances and complaints pertaining to police misconduct.”