22 January 2024

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the escalating trend of police misconduct cases in recent months. These cases include a police officer having allegedly extorted and raped an Uzbek teenager in a patrol car, a police officer slapping a civilian, and a senior police officer being implicated in a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a high school student, the arrest of a police inspector on alleged abduction of a Bangladeshi man, among others.   

As the largest enforcement agency in the country, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) is tasked with the mandate of protecting the public. In these instances of misconduct, however, the officers have become perpetrators that pose a threat to public safety. These incidents cannot and should not be viewed as isolated crimes committed by individual actors; rather, they encapsulate a broader phenomenon within the police force perpetuated by a culture of impunity and a deficiency in implementing robust preventive measures. Moreover, this prevailing trend underscores the inadequacies inherent in the existing police oversight mechanism. 

We are of the opinion that the Unity Government has missed the golden opportunity to strengthen the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC), which was crucial in addressing this systemic issue. 

Overdue since August 2023, the announcement of the appointment of five IPCC members was made by Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution about two weeks ago. This development took place after the announcement by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission that it would cease accepting complaints concerning PDRM personnel starting July 2023. Notably, the IPCC appointments were made without engaging with non-governmental stakeholders, particularly civil society organisations (CSOs).  

Upon scrutiny of the Independent Police Conduct Commission Act and the jurisdiction of the Commission, it becomes evident that the Unity Government has failed to improve the said legislation in line with input from CSOs. It is noteworthy that content in the current Act diverges from the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s stance, which rejected the IPCC Bill in 2022. The scope of IPCC is a far cry from that in the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) proposed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in 2005. The IPCC is clearly less effective as an oversight mechanism than the already inadequate EAIC. 

We are concerned that Inherent structural deficiencies within the IPCC will render the oversight mechanism to be a ‘toothless tiger’, irrespective of the competence and experience of the Commission’s members. The IPCC is unable to conduct searches and seizures and make unannounced visits to police lockups. Devoid of the authority to take direct disciplinary action against offending police officers, the Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to providing recommendations to the Police Force Commission for subsequent action. Given these limitations, we harbour reservations about the IPCC’s efficacy in addressing misconduct, as its jurisdiction for investigation and enforcement of penalties is significantly restricted. 

Nevertheless, our commitment to work with the government to improve the Commission remains unwavering. We propose arranging a meeting between CSOs and members of IPCC at the earliest to explore avenues in ensuring effective functioning of the Commission. Concurrently, we also call on the government to implement an open and transparent selection process for the remaining two Commission member vacancies, whilst ensuring that the composition of IPCC reflects current societal diversity. It is also imperative that a periodic review of the Commission’s performance and effectiveness once every two years, with review findings presented in Parliament. Legal amendments and policy improvements must be pursued as soon as possible, in order to ensure that IPCMC’s essence, best practices and international standards are upheld.  

An independent and effective police oversight entity is crucial for not just the public but also the police force. The role of IPCC assumes heightened significance in light of the decline in PDRM’s reputation and subsequent widening of trust deficit by the public towards the police. We urge that transparent and impartial investigations be conducted on instances of police misconduct, so that PDRM’s integrity will be upheld and safeguarded. We also seek to work together for the public and the police force’s benefit – to help build a police force that is accountable, and trusted and respected by the public.  

Endorsed by: 

1. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) 

2. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) 

3. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) 

4. Justice for Sisters 

5. Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH) 

6. Undi18 

7. North South Initiative 

8. Liga Rakyat Demokratik  

9. University of Malaya Association for New Youth (UMANY)  


11. Sisters in Islam 

12. Tenaganita 

13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) 

14. Aliran 

15. Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) 

16. Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE) 

17. Pusat KOMAS 

18. KLSCAH Youth  

19. Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity (MAJU) 

20. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK) 

21. Teoh Beng Hock Association for Democratic Advancement 

22. Gabungan Marhaen 

23. Persatuan Amal Progresif Selangor 

24. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan KL  

25. Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center)  

26. JERIT – Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas 

27. Gerak Malaysia 

28. Borneo Komrad 

29. Mamas Bersih 

30. Serikat Malaysia 

31. Sabah AIDS Support Services Association (KASIH) 

32. ⁠Advocates for Non-discrimination and Access to Knowledge (ANAK) 

33. Lawyer Kamek 

34. Penan Empowerment Networking Association (PENA) 

35. Independent Coalition Of Natives (ICON) 

36. KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee (KLSCAH CRC) 

37. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) 

38. Jentayu 

39. Persatuan Wanita Maju Selangor & KL 

40. Agora Society 

41. ICON LEGEND, Sarawak 

42. Parti Sosialis Malaysia – PSM 

43. Rahman Student League  

44. Rahman Solidarity League  

45. Persatuan Bertutur Bahasa Mandarin Malaysia Negeri Johor 

46. Student Progressive Front UUM 北大前进阵线 

47. Suara Siswa UUM 北大学声阵线 

48. Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM 

49. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua USM 理大华文学会 

50. Suara Siswa UM 

51. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) 

52. Sarawak AIDS Concern Society (SACS) 

53. Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA) 

54. Global Bersih 

55. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) 

56. Amnesty International Malaysia 

57. Transparency International Malaysia