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Defer the fake IPCMC Bill to allow for proper public consultation through Parliamentary Select Committee on Bill

Media Conference          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Tuesday): No, it was not an empty auditorium but quite a full house for the Emergency Public Consultation on the Special Complaints Commission Bill (or fake IPCMC Bill) at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.

It vindicated my faith and confidence in Malaysians that despite the impossibly short two-day notice falling on a weekend and end-of-year holiday season, minimal exposure in print media and total lack of leafleting, there was a strong turn-out of Malaysians for the Public Consultation to demonstrate their concern, commitment and seriousness about their citizenship rights.

The highlights of the Public Consultation last night were:

Outcome – Unanimous vote by show of hands that the SCC Bill should be deferred to the next parliamentary meeting in March next year and in the meantime there should be a Parliamentary Select Committee to ensure the widest public consultation with the civil society on the proposed legislation.

This was the unanimous sense of the Public Consultation, which was offered three options, viz:

• Support for the SCC Bill;

• Rejection;

• Deferment.

The Public Consultation was in full support of the views expressed by the panelists that the SCC Bill is a poor and unacceptable substitute for the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill proposed by the Royal Police Commission as the most important of its 125 recommendations to reform and transform the Malaysian police into an efficient, accountable, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.

Some quotes by panelists:

Tunku Abdul Aziz, Royal Police Commission member and former President, Transparency International Malaysia:

A mockery of the IPCMC recommendation, “totally turned upside down”;

“Total disdain for fairness, justice and public opinion”;

“Say goodbye to all the high hopes that we will have the best police force that money cannot buy”.

Edmond Bon, Chairperson of Bar Council Human Rights Committee:

More correct to be named Special Referral Commission rather than Special Complaints Commission;

Minor recommendations of Royal Police Commission accepted but major recommendations ignored;

“Just adds another layer of bureaucracy. Really sad. Might as well not have the Bill”.

Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Independence of Judges and Lawyers:

A slap in the face of the Royal Police Commission.

Government has duty to explain why it cannot implement the recommendations of the Royal Police Commission.

Will require another Commission to oversight the SCC.

I will convey to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who is responsible for piloting the Bill through Parliament, the unanimous stand of the Public Consultation for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee for proper public consultation and to defer passage of the SCC Bill until the next parliamentary meeting next year.


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

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