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The weak and ineffective Independent Police Conduct Commission 2020 (IPCC) bill is meant to be tabled in parliament for a second reading in the current parliamentary session. While we are 16 years overdue for a commission to address the misconduct of and complaints by the police, the proposed IPCC bill is diluted and weak, and less effective than the existing processes under the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).
Here are some of the key weaknesses of the proposed IPCC:
- The IPCC does NOT have the authority to conduct the conviction process but can ONLY make recommendations to other enforcement bodies (like the MACC or the Police Force Commission)
- Police officers can be members of the IPCC
- IPCC Commissioners are appointed by the PM, while the Secretary of the IPCC is appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs
- Those testifying have the right of refusal to answer questions that would expose a police officer to a criminal charge
- Section 96 and 97 of the Police Act exempt from IPCC. This consists of the Inspector General’s Standing Orders (IGSOs), which includes over 100 minor and major misconducts
- No timelines mentioned to refer, classify, and investigate complaints
- No requirements for the commission to consult and involve CSOs in its work
- The proposed IPCC bill does not give the commission sufficient powers nor the required independence to deal with police misconduct effectively, and it effectively ignores and undermines the work of the 2004 Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police, including the voices, analysis and input by victims, Malaysians, human rights bodies and other civil society. Shockingly, this proposed IPCC is even weaker than the existing Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) which has failed to address the serious issues of police misconduct..
These views were also shared by various parties, including Amnesty International Malaysia, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), the Malaysia Bar Council, Suaram, Human Rights Watch and many more human rights organisations. The passing of the IPCC bill subverts measures for police accountability, and will drag Malaysia further away from the establishment of an independent and effective commission that we urgently need.
Read the memorandum urging MPs to reject the IPCC bill below: