KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — DAP Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has once again urged the unity government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to look into setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Lim said over the past two decades, there have been countless cases where police and other enforcement officers committed acts of malfeasance but are let off with just a slap on the wrist.
“I call upon the Unity Government to set up IPCMC since it was first proposed by a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) some 19 years ago.
“The powers of the IPCMC should extend to all enforcement agencies in order to instil discipline in the forces.
Lim referred to a recent case where three men were arrested in Penang for recording a police raid.
He said former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and many senior lawyers have commented that there are no laws to stop anyone from recording a police raid.
“The three individuals who were arrested can, of course, bring a civil suit against the police, but it may just turn out that when the police officers lose the case, it is the government that has to pay the victims out of its coffer while the police officers are let off or maybe just assigned to desk jobs.
“What is more important is that the errant policemen are punished by an independent commission when they carried out the arrest ultra vires, which amounts to nothing but police intimidation.
“Otherwise, it would make a mockery when the public knows that it is not illegal to record any raids,” he said.
Lim added that if raids are done properly, there is no reason for police to feel intimidated by the video.
“Which is why I had asked why the police have resisted the wearing of body cameras.
“The police being a government agency has to accept the decision of the government of the day to set up the IPCMC and to wear body cameras, so that we can prevent situations like this from being misconstrued,” he said.
Lim, several years back had called for the use of body cameras for the police and revived the call on January 31, for the police force to be equipped with body cameras following a raid on a hardcore music gig at a record store in Georgetown, Penang.
He reportedly said body cameras were supposed to have been procured and put into use in 2021.
It has been close to two decades since the RCI recommended the setting up of the IPCMC but is still nowhere near to becoming a reality.
In 2019, the closest it came to fruition was when the Pakatan Harapan government tabled the IPCMC bill in 2019.
It however received criticisms about a lack of consultation, sending the bill for review by a parliamentary select committee (PSC).
The bill was later replaced when Perikatan Nasional (PN) took the government, with the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill.