Bar Council revives call for independent IPCMC

PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council has renewed calls for a dedicated Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to be set up where the public can air complaints about the force.

"It was first recommended in 2005 but was not established. Instead, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) was set up and it is not that effective," said lawyer R. Sivaraj.

Sivaraj - a member of the Bar Council's IPCMC task force - added at the "Let's talk about our police" public forum on Sunday that the EAIC responds to complaints from 18 different Government agencies and departments and does not have prosecuting powers.

Sivaraj said when the commission was first recommended, it had the support of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi but the police force was against it, threatening to strike if the commission was established.

"There is no political will for it to be set up," he said.

Meanwhile, the wife of 43-year-old M.Thanaseelan said that police proceedings would be more transparent if the commission was set up.

"Others need not go through what I suffered," said S. Piremilah.

In a teary account, Perimilah revealed details on how she was given very little information about her husband's death and is still unclear whether the blame lies on police or the hospital where he was brought to.

Thanaseelan was found unconscious in his cell at the Bukit Sentosa lockup on Feb 25 and was later declared dead at Hospital Sungai Buloh.

According to a lawyer, a post mortem later revealed that he had died of neglect.

Thanaseelan was arrested in Bukit Beruntung on Feb 21 for alleged burglary and was remanded from Feb 22 to Feb 25.

He was due to be released but was found dead in his cell at 1.50am on Feb 25.

"This has to stop and if the commission is set up, I hope it will punish those who were personally involved in the case and not their superiors," she said.


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