IPCMC must be independent, not under home ministry, says Suaram

The IPCMC was proposed in 2005 to help improve the police force and address key concerns on police misconduct while safeguarding police welfare.

PETALING JAYA: Rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is appalled by Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin’s announcement on the introduction of a new bill that places the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) under the ministry.

Suaram’s executive director Sevan Doraisamy said a truly independent IPCMC was a key element in the proposal by the 2005 Royal Commission of Inquiry intended to improve the police force and address key concerns on police misconduct while safeguarding police welfare.

“It is not a whimsical law introduced with no rhyme nor reason.

“The proposed bill introduced by the Pakatan Harapan administration had also undergone extensive refinement and consultation with various stakeholders,” he said in a statement today.

While there is undoubtedly room for further refinement and improvement, Sevan said the bill introduced by the PH government is the culmination of efforts by all quarters with compromises made by many.

“By reintroducing a new IPCMC bill, the Perikatan Nasional administration will undermine the tireless effort put forward by all stakeholders involved in the process,” he said.

“The suggestion by the minister that the bill will be placed under the home ministry is absurd and unacceptable.”

Sevan said the police have always been a downline agency of the home ministry, and as such, any failing of the institution is the responsibility of the ministry.

The fact that IPCMC was recommended in the first place is a reflection of the complete and total failure in governance on the part of the home ministry, he said.

“Placing IPCMC under the home ministry will only compound the existing failure of the ministry and defeat the whole purpose of IPCMC.

“Suaram calls on the government to maintain the IPCMC proposed and refined by the Parliament Select Committee, and adopt it in its present form,” Sevan added.