Bring back truly independent IPCMC Bill to hold police accountable, Suaram tells govt following ‘cartel’ exposé

Suaram said many have argued that the formation of the IPCMC was unnecessary as the police were more than capable to discipline themselves, but it has been proven that police were prone to abuse their power if there were no other institutions to keep them in check. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Suaram said many have argued that the formation of the IPCMC was unnecessary as the police were more than capable to discipline themselves, but it has been proven that police were prone to abuse their power if there were no other institutions to keep them in check. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Only a truly discrete Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) would hold the police accountable following the revelation of the prevalence of corruptible practices within the law enforcement agency, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) said today.

Following allegations of the existence of a corrupt cartel within the police force as revealed by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Suaram therefore said it was necessary for the government to do away with the proposed Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill which it tabled in August last year.

Instead, the government should reinstate the now-scrapped IPCMC Bill proposed under the previous Pakatan Harapan administration.

“The IPCMC will provide an independent body that will help investigate cases of police misconduct at every level, from the lowest officers to the very senior members of the Royal Malaysian Police.

“The toxic culture of asking for money and receiving bribes would be reduced and rooted out if the police are aware that their actions are being constantly monitored and subject to investigations by the independent IPCMC.

“The police are incapable of disciplining themselves and the continued lack of independent police commission like the IPCMC would only render the public losing even more confidence towards the police,” it said in a statement here.

According to the IPCC Bill, the proposed commission will not have disciplinary powers when dealing with police misconduct and fell under the Home Ministry's purview instead of the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law).

Suaram said many have argued that the formation of the IPCMC was unnecessary as the police were more than capable to discipline themselves, but it has been proven that police were prone to abuse their power if there were no other institutions to keep them in check.

Last week, Abdul Hamid revealed a so-called conspiracy within the force to remove him from his post through the existence of a “cartel” comprising younger officers seeking to bring him down and control the force for its purposes.

Explaining the cartel activities within the police force, the top cop said that he wants to stem the culture of corruption among cops.

Yesterday, he was reported saying that this culture has spread to the top echelon of the force.

“And the other revelation from the IGP where there exists a cartel within the police force speaks to the point where the institution is suffering deep problems that necessitate the intervention of an independent institution like IPCMC and a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to fully investigate IGP’s allegation,” Suaram added.

Commending Abdul Hamid for being honest on the exposé, Suaram said this only served to confirm the suspicions and validate the criticism of widespread corruption involving police officials regardless of ranks.

“The fact that the highest-ranking police of Malaysia is the bearer of this bad news about the police forces is a testament that all is not well within the institution and major reforms are required to restore the tattering reputation of the police force,” it said.

Separately, Suaram also called for the IGP to push for an RCI in order to be given a chance to testify and come clean before the public regarding his allegations about the police.

Following the disclosure of the alleged “cartel”, Abdul Hamid said that he had also given his assurance to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin that he would bring up the matter during discussions with the minister soon, and was confident that he could handle the bunch of rotten apples.

He also said that the matter will be addressed internally, without having to lodge a report with the Police Force Commission.

Hamzah had earlier asked Abdul Hamid to submit a report to the Police Force Commission over the matter.

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