Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission to stop focusing on frivolous, vexatious cases, says chairman

EAIC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan speaks to the media after officiating the EAIC 10th anniversary and 2020 EAIC excellent service awards ceremony in Putrajaya, April 1, 2021. — Bernama pic
EAIC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan speaks to the media after officiating the EAIC 10th anniversary and 2020 EAIC excellent service awards ceremony in Putrajaya, April 1, 2021. — Bernama pic

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PUTRAJAYA, April 1 — The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) will from now on take the approach of not investigating cases frivolous or vexatious in nature, its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said.

The former chief secretary to the government said the Commission received various public complaints about ill-mannered enforcement officers, but investigations showed they only involved officers raising their voices.

“So, we don’t really need to use up our time for cases like these,” he said while adding that EAIC was a small unit with only 78 officers working with a RM8 million allocation.

“Let us focus on important and big cases such as sexual harassment and so on,” Mohd Sidek told reporters after officiating the EAIC’s 10th-anniversary and 2020 EAIC excellent service awards ceremony here today.

EAIC regulates 21 enforcement agencies including the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Customs Department, Immigration Department, Road Transport Department, National Anti-Drug Agency and National Registration Department.  All 21 agencies involve more than 210,000 employees.

Mohd Sidek said there was no need to amend the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Act 2009 (Act 700) at present as any action or enforcement under the EAIC could be done through smart collaborations with other departments and agencies.

According to Mohd Sidek, he objected to the proposal to amend the act after leading the EAIC as he felt existing laws were sufficient for enforcement action, adding that it would be wasteful if resources were not used comprehensively.

“There are many laws in Malaysia that are sufficient (for its purpose) but not enforced. However, I am confident that if the EAIC is enlarged tenfold, to 780 people or a budget of RM80 million a year, we will still have the issues we face now,” he said.

EAIC was established under Act 700 as an agency that performs the functions of an integrity monitoring body among enforcement agencies, receiving complaints from the public on the misconduct of enforcement officers or enforcement agencies, as well as formulating and establishing mechanisms to detect, investigate and prevent misconduct.

Act 700 only empowers the EAIC to make recommendations, and only the disciplinary bodies of the enforcement agencies have the power to impose punishments.

Earlier in his speech, Mohd Sidek said the EAIC had so far received 5,237 complaints against various enforcement agencies, of which a total of 4,483 complaint files were opened.

For 2021 alone, he said EAIC, as of March 31, had received 326 complaints and opened a total of 274 complaint files. — Bernama

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