ACA Must Be Revamped To Be Independent And Answerable Only To Parliament So Has Not To Hamper Efforts To Curb Corruption In The Police Force

Press Statement

Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Royal Commission To Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police had highlighted 10 strategic thrusts which amongst others highlighted the need for police to revert to its basic function of reducing crime, eradicating police corruption and make policing comply with human rights.

DAP feels that the fundamental flaw and problem with the Malaysian police and policing in the country lies with systemic corruption which has penetrated all levels of the police. If corruption can be checked then the police can succeed in controlling crime but also carry out its duties fairly, impartially and quickly in accordance with the law. Otherwise, police action will be seen as influenced not by legal or human rights considerations but either by monetary or political factors.


The Royal Commission had rightly recommended that benefits and salaries of the police force be increased. However enhancing the benefits is only one aspect. More importantly, there should be action against corruption. In this regard, responsibility to wipe out corruption does not rest solely with the police but also with the role played Anti-Corruption Agency(BPR). Sadly BPR has greatly disappointed Malaysians with its ineffectiveness as shown by the drop in Transparency International corruption rankings for Malaysia from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 39 in 2004.


The time has come for BPR to stop being regarded as a toothless tiger or ridiculed that it is not Badan Pencegah Rasuah but Badan Penutup Rasuah. Just as fundamental structural change is required in the police force such changes must also go hand in hand in the BPR, if the problem of corruption in the police force is to be rooted out. BPR should be revamped and made independent with powers of prosecution and investigation, stop being a mere agency of the Prime Minister Department and made answerable to Parliament if it is to succeed in curbing corruption amongst police ranks.


Amongst the proposal is to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to investigate and punish wrongdoing. However, all laws approved would be meaningless if there is no political will and correct mindset to implement them. That is why the government must show the political will by not only approving these recommendations but also an annual audit check by Parliament on not just on the police but also the ACA.


To restore public confidence and the integrity of the police force from being tarnished by the misconduct of police personnel, there must be a complete overhaul and change of mindset by police personnel. First, zero tolerance of corruption must be enforced to ensure that the police personnel must not only be clean but must be seen to be clean. Secondly, to avoid abuses of power, the police must always be reminded of the need to comply with human rights of those they are investigating or protecting.


Thirdly police must not become a political tool of the ruling party if they are to focus on their function to reduce crime. For instance it is sad that police resources are used by the ruling party to spy on opposition parties, when opposition parties are peaceful, crime-free and abide with the law.


DAP wishes to propose that all police personnel should be directed towards fighting crime with other functions such as Special Branch to be taken by non-police trained civilians. It is a waste of public funds to spend so much money to train a policeman whose duties is limited to listening to political speeches. Finally, police pay and remuneration must be increased at least on par with neighboring countries like Singapore if we want a well-trained, professional effective and honest police force.



*  Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General