PETALING JAYA: The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is in the best interest of the police, said a member of a royal commission that suggested such a body to oversee the police force back in 2005.
Datuk Denison Jayasooria said he stood by the report, saying that the IPCMC is long overdue.
He pointed to the example of England and Wales that has the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
“When we made the recommendations, it was in the best interest of the police. For the police, the IPCMC can protect them from any false claims or accusations.
“Just like how financial audit is done by an independent group. Likewise for police, it can enhance public confidence,” he said.
In 2005, the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Force recommended for an independent body to be set up to oversee the police force.
The 16-member commission, headed by former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, was formed in February 2004 to study and recommend measures to improve police efficiency and to make the force more effective in modern law enforcement.
Then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had established the royal commission as there were widespread concerns about crime, corruption and the public’s dissatisfaction with the conduct of the police force.
Back then, the public had also wanted to see vast improvements in the services by the police force.
In its report, it said that the setting up of an independent external oversight entity would be a “milestone” in the evolution of policing in Malaysia.
Another member of the 2004 royal commission, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said the IPCMC should be set up, although concerns of the police personnel must be taken into account.
“As a matter of principle, I stand by the recommendations of the commission. All the commission members felt that the IPCMC was an appropriate proposal as one way of reforming the police force,” he said.
Lee, who is also Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman, said an independent body was needed so that the public could have confidence that there would be a proper investigation when they lodged complaints about the police.
“However, any objections (from the police) to the setting up of the IPCMC must be dealt with.
“The police force has raised their concerns, so it is up to the relevant authorities to make the final decision and come up with a win-win solution,” he added.
He said some in the police might have reservations as they already have a Police Commission to govern disciplinary matters.