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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Xu Jian Huang case highlights the failure of the BN government to implement the 125 recommendations of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Police. Former attorney-general and present Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Chair Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman said that poor investigation and incompetent prosecution are the main causes of justice not being served as shown by too many murder cases resulting in acquittals.
Tan Sri Abu Talib said that there is a need to raise the quality of investigation and prosecution, and to make sure that only competent police officers handle complicated cases. In the murder of the 14 year old Xu, Judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Musa, in his 49-page judgment, found there was not too much evidence adduced against all three alleged murders. Clearly both the police and the prosecution must be blamed for failing to find the murderers of a 14 year old boy found in the swimming pool of a heavily guarded bungalow with 23 injury marks.
The judge had observed that the prosecution failed to call a certain Insp Moin, that key local witnesses are missing, and even a key foreign witness was deported back to China without the police knowing the date of her deportation. This Chinese foreign national was serving a 10-month sentence in Kajang prison for overstaying but no attempt was made to keep her until the case was over.
What is unusual is the speed and efficiency of her deportation after her prison term was over as many such prisoners languish in immigration holding centres for at least 6 more months before being able to return home. Why can this key witness to a murder trial return home so quickly but not the hundreds of Chinese nationals detained in immigration depots?
Such inefficiency of both the police and prosecution were amongst issues examined closely in 433-page Royal Commission Report on Police headed by former Chief Justice, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah. Sadly even though the report was released in May this year, none of the 125 recommendations have been implemented. 26 recommendations are supposed to be implemented by August 2005 but not one has been completed.
125 recommendations of the Royal Commission of Police
There are 5 very easy recommendations to be implemented by June 2005 namely:-
Amongst the most important recommendations were to establish an independent oversight mechanism to be implemented by May 2006. This proposal for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission(ICPMC) Bill is important not only as a means of punishing police personnel who transgresses the very laws they have sworn to uphold but also ensuring compliance, good governance, accountability as well as sustaining public confidence. Even a proposed draft bill to set up the ICPMC was prepared but there is no effort by the government to move such this Bill or allow DAP MPs to move such a Bill in Parliament.
There is no logical or rational reason why the Prime Minister refuses to follow the timeframe set out by the Royal Commission. Any failure or delay would send the wrong message that the government lacks the political will to reform and adopt the Royal Commissionís recommendations. Worse, is the impression that the Prime Minister lacks seriousness in reforming the police to turn it into an effective crime-fighting force that is people-friendly, efficient and trustworthy.