Lack of sustained national debate in past four months on how to create a world-class police service a measure of the failure of the Police Royal Commission to command public confidence and generate public interest on its terms of reference

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The statement by the Deputy Chairman of the Police Royal Commission of Inquiry, Tun Hanif Omar, that the Commission is not setting a time frame for the police force to implement its recommendations is most disappointing, reflecting a deplorable lack of a sense of urgency on very pressing and long-standing grievances of the people.

Hanif said the commission would cooperate with the PDRM to ensure the recommended proposals could be implemented as early as possible, as the commission appreciated the problems faced by the force, including shortage of personnel and logistics.

The Malaysian public are entitled to know what are the commission proposals which could be implemented immediately and which could not.

The commission had so far received a total of 400 complaints from the public including e-mails and letters.

They include the refusal of some police personnel to accept reports, absence of follow-up action on reports lodged and setting up of a place for the public to obtain latest developments on reports lodged.

There were also proposals for the police force to further upgrade services following complaints on not informing the family of suspects who had been detained, not allowing suspects to obtain the services of lawyers, not providing reason for detention and the problem of crowded lock-ups.  

Is the Inspector-General of Police, Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Omar seriously suggesting that he could not immediately direct all police stations and personnel to accept police reports which members of the public want to lodge – and that there could be good and valid excuses or reasons for any police refusal to accept reports? 

It will be most unfortunate if the Police Royal Commission is seen as a body which is holding a watching brief for the Police instead of defending the rights of the Malaysian public to a world-class police service, which is professional, efficient, effective and trustworthy, to  defend and uphold the fundamental rights of Malaysians to be free from crime and the fear of crime.

The Police Royal Commission should pause and seek public views and opinions to review its modus operandi to find out why it is losing public confidence after less than four months’ of functioning.

The Police Royal Commission should be the cause for a sustained and extensive national debate on how the Royal Malaysian Police Force  could be transformed into a world-class police force – but there is scant public debate on this subject in the past four months.  Why is this so?

This should be addressed at length by the Police Royal Commission, for such lack of a national debate in the past four months must be seen as one of its major failures to generate public interest and concern about its terms of reference.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor