Who watches the watchers? IPCMC Bill finally reaches Parliament after 14 years

Datuk Liew Vui Keong told the Lower House that the Bill would be read and voted on in the next parliamentary meeting in October. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Liew Vui Keong told the Lower House that the Bill would be read and voted on in the next parliamentary meeting in October. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Malaysia finally ended its 14-year wait for public oversight of the police today with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong’s tabling of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill.

The minister overseeing legal affairs told the Lower House that the Bill would be read and voted on in the next parliamentary meeting in October.

The commission is set to supersede the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) that the Abdullah administration introduced as a compromise for not implementing the IPCMC, which was recommended by a royal commission of inquiry in 2005.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously said the IPCMC will replace the predecessor and work closely with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

The IPCMC had been among pledges in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto that initially appeared to join those that would not be delivered, but this changed quickly when Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador was appointed as the new inspector-general of police.

Hamid eclipsed his predecessors by becoming the first police chief to convince his agency of the IPCMC’s benefits.

The commission was the starring recommendation of a 2005 RCI on the police that was convened following a spate of custodial deaths.

The police force at the time had vehemently rejected civilian oversight of its activities, which lasted right until the time of the previous IGP, Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

The EAIC has been criticised as ineffectual as the commission lacks punitive or enforcement powers and may only make recommendations to other agencies.

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