Send ‘toothless’ IPCMC bill back to minister, NGO urges MPs

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong is expected to table the IPCMC bill when Parliament begins its new session tomorrow.

PETALING JAYA: Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) has urged MPs to return the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission Bill, which it labelled “toothless”, to the de facto law minister to redraft.

It said the bill fell short of the one proposed in 2005 as it was modelled after the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission, which even Putrajaya agreed was a failed institution.

“If the EAIC is a toothless tiger, Monday’s IPCMC (bill) is a toothless, limbless tiger, since it has even less investigative powers than the EAIC,” the NGO said in a statement today.

De facto Law minister Liew Vui Keong is expected to table the bill when Parliament begins its new session tomorrow.

CAGED said the bill should be modelled on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which it said “has proven effective” under the right leadership.

MACC commissioners, it said, held police-like ranks and were “always on duty” while EAIC commissioners were “mere laypersons”.

“MACC commissioners strike fear, EAIC commissioners do not,” it said.

It said the bill should not be restricted to complaints of misconduct.

The bill in its present form has no definition of a complaint, CAGED noted, adding that the drafters of the document say the definition is in the domain of the Public Complaints Bureau (PCB).

However, checks show that the PCB will not investigate complaints on subjects which are under the authority of the MACC.

“It should be the same for the IPCMC.”

CAGED also said the bill should mandate that the police cannot investigate deaths and grievous injuries which may have been caused by members of the force.

Police shootings and deaths in police custody, it said, must be investigated by the IPCMC.

It said the bill, which it described as “vague”, should clearly spell out the model of independence it wants to adopt.

“Is the model akin to Hong Kong, where the police investigate themselves, supervised by a commission? Or is it akin to Northern Ireland, where police are investigated by an independent force? Or somewhere in-between as in England and Wales?”

The NGO also said data, including on complaints received since 2005, must be released to enable MPs and the public to assess whether the bill will aid police reform.

“Without data, any new bill will disappoint,” it added.