Call for the passage of a bill to establish the  Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, the crown-jewel of the 125 recommendations of Police Royal Commission in the next parliamentary meeting starting on June 20

Speech (2) at Buntong DAP Branch, Ipoh Barat
by Lim Kit Siang

(Ipoh, Sunday): Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to be commended for establishing the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in one of his first acts as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia, the decision to make the Royal Commission report public and his reiteration after the Cabinet meeting that he is “committed to implementing recommendations that can improve the organisation and prestige of the Royal Malaysian Police as a capable and efficient law enforcement agency for the 21st century”.

Yesterday, the Royal Commission secretary Datuk Hamzah Md Rus confirmed that the full 607-page report, including 149 pages of annexures and appendices, in Bahasa Malaysia will be released to the public tomorrow and the English version on Thursday. I will be at the commission office in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. together with DAP Members of Parliament for copies of the report.

The full Police Royal Commission report should be posted on the  Internet on the Internal Security Ministry website, as in the practice in “First World” countries or ICT has not yet really arrived in Malaysia despite a decade of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

Although it  is premature to pass judgment on the Royal Commission Report until there is an opportunity to study  it in full, the Royal Commission Chairman Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah has disclosed  the crown-jewel of the Commission’s  125 recommendations,  an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which warrants attention and  support.

I particularly welcome its proposal for an independent external oversight agency to resolve public complaints against the police in a fair, effective and transparent manner as this is also a proposal which I had been making, in and out of Parliament, down the years and decades, to ensure public confidence in the professionalism, efficiency, impartiality and integrity of the police.

For instance, when I congratulated Tan Sri Mohamad Bakri Omar on his appointment as the new Inspector-General of Police on November 5, 2003, I spelt out four challenging priorities  before him, viz:

  • Restoration of  public confidence in the professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness of the police service to reduce crime, the fear of crime and reassure the people about the safety of the streets, public spaces and homes.
  • Police recognition and acceptance of the right of the people to demand accountability, transparency and higher standards in the delivery of one of the most basic functions of all governments through the ages – the police service to provide security and protection to the citizenry.
  • Establishment of an independent Police Ombudsman who is not part of the Police force to conduct independent investigations into complaints against the police for abuses of power, including false arrests and trigger-happy police shootings and killings.
  • Establishment of a National Policing Forum to provide a formal  structure to involve the various communities and the civil society to ensure a modern, professional, competent and responsive police force to deliver quality world-class police service to reduce crime, the fear of crime and reassure the people about the safety of streets, public places and the homes.

Dzaiddin said the Commission had drafted a bill for the establishment  of the  proposed Independent  Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, which is annexed to the report.

With the draft bill and  Abdullah’s commitment to implement the Commission’s recommendations, the top agenda in the next 14-day parliamentary meeting from June 20 to July 12 should be the passage of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission Bill – even ahead of the other 124 recommendations if they require legislative action which is not yet ready.        


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman