Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan has reminded Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin that he needs to get police support for the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill that will be tabled in the Parliament session this time.
Mohamad said to do so, the government must engage the main stakeholders and also ensure that the welfare of the police is addressed.
"Does the IPCC translate to the true spirit of police reform as proposed in the Report of the Royal Commission to Improve the Operations and Management of Royal Malaysian Police chaired by (former chief justice) Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2005?
"The Dzaiddin report detailed 125 specific recommendations for improving the operation and governance of our police system.
"The IPCC will only achieve its goals if it is implemented in line with all the other reforms recommended by the Dzaiddin Report. After more than 17 years, the Dzaiddin Report is still pending to be implemented in a thorough and integrated manner," Mohammad said in a statement today.
Hamzah had announced last week that the Bill is expected to be tabled for the second reading during the current Dewan Rakyat sitting, saying his ministry was concerned about the matter and would take immediate action to ensure the implementation of the IPCC is not delayed.
The IPCC Bill was tabled for the first reading on Aug 26 last year, which aimed at having the provision to set up an independent commission and to enhance the integrity of the police force, reduce misconduct among police personnel and build the confidence of the people on the police force.
Presently, there is no independent mechanism overseeing potential police abuse in issues such as deaths in custody, which leads to the police investigating such cases themselves.
Despite a significant number of cases implicating abuse of power by the police, there has been little to no successful prosecution.
'Have the police been consulted?'
Mohamad asked if Hamzah had consulted the police over the new bill.
"It will replace the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill introduced by the previous Pakatan Harapan government.
"As the presentation of the IPCMC has received widespread opposition in the past, especially among the police, have the reforms in the IPCC been discussed in-depth and comprehensively with the real stakeholders?
"The IPCC deserves the support of the police as it would not be a successful law without the views, support and meaningful participation of our security," he said.
The Rantau assemblyperson reminded the government that the IPCMC or IPCC was just one of the recommendations proposed.
"Many more recommendations related to human resources, welfare, the balance of power and comprehensive reforms should be implemented to bring our policing system on par with world standards.
"Institutional reform is not enough just to improve the IPCMC to the IPCC. The police force needs more than that to be more effective and credible.
"I call on the government to table a plan for the reform and modernisation of the police immediately," he added.
Mohamad said that the sacrifices of our security personnel are extraordinary and justify us placing the priority of reform beyond the code of conduct of a handful of members.
"The IPCC must be balanced with the government’s commitment to comprehensively improve the salaries, career advancement, welfare and skills upgrading of police personnel," he added.