Retain EAIC to monitor all agencies, says group

PETALING JAYA: A group campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty has called for the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission to be retained instead of being replaced by the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.

The group, Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture, said the EAIC is still very much needed.

Unlike the IPCMC which only deals with complaints about the police, the EAIC is empowered to deal with complaints about almost all other enforcement agencies, such as the Immigration Department, housing and local government ministry, Labour Department and the Road Transport Department.

The group said that statistics of complaints received showed that many agencies other than the police were the subjects.

It went on to cite the incident of toxic pollution in Pasir Gudang, Johor, and the deaths of two factory workers in Selangor from exposure to ammonia in 2018, which it said indicated the failings of many of government and enforcement agencies.

“The EAIC is very much still needed, and its powers should also be extended to prosecution. The scope of agencies covered by the EAIC should also be extended, including to maybe cover also the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Prison Department and even the Election Commission,” it said in a statement.

The group suggested the Bill to set up IPCMC be amended to give the commission the power to prosecute, “and not merely the power to discipline”.

The bill is scheduled to be debated at the next Dewan Rakyat meeting in October.

The group questioned the lack of action taken by the government on enquiries conducted by EAIC in the past, and said all such government commissions, including Suhakam, EAIC and the future IPCMC should have prosecution powers.

“The lack of action by the Attorney-General and the government will only dampen the commitment of such Commissions,” the group said.