NGOs want IPCMC to be set up


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 09 Apr 2019

Pushing for change: Visvanathan (third left) addressing the media during the handing over of the memorandum to lawmakers in Parliament pushing for the setting up of the IPCMC. Present are Sivarasa (centre), Maria (third right) and Mansor (second left).

Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN 

A CONCERTED effort is underway in Parliament to push for the swift setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

It came after a coalition of 50 non-governmental organisations called Gabungan Tuntut IPCMC marched to Parliament to hand over a memorandum on the IPCMC to several lawmakers sitting on Special Select Committees and government representatives.

Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister R. Sivarasa assured the group that he would pass their memorandum to the minister in charge of law, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“The recent findings by Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysian) on enforced disappearances only prove that the IPCMC needs to be set up as soon as possible for an independent body to investigate claims of wrongdoings and abuse by the police,” he told a press conference after accepting the memorandum in Parliament.

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto, who sits on the Parliament Special Committee on Human Rights and Gender Equality, said she would take the matter up for discussion in the committee.

Also present to accept the memorandum were Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, who sits on the Parliamentary Caucus on Reforms and Governance chaired by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, chairman of the Parliament Special Select Committee on Defence and Home Ministries Datuk Mansor Othman, and Pakatan Harapan Backbenchers Council secretary Chang Lih Kang.

Meanwhile, M. Visvanathan, who heads the coalition of NGOs, said the IPCMC was mooted by a Royal Commission set up in 2005.

“There should not be any more time wasted for the IPCMC to be set up.

“It will help curb or prevent abuse of police powers and lockup deaths,” he said.

Earlier, the group gathered at Padang Merbok before making their way to the Parliament guardhouse.

Several representatives, who included family members of those who had died while in police detention, were allowed in to hand over the memorandum.

Calls for the setting up of the IPCMC have grown louder after Suhakam’s findings implicated Bukit Aman’s Special Branch in the “enforced disappearances” of Pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

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