PUTRAJAYA: Bukit Aman has given its thumbs up to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which is expected to get off the ground this year.
This followed discussions between the police top brass, led by Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, and the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) here yesterday.
The newly-appointed police chief expressed satisfaction with the briefing given by the centre’s director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed at the meeting.
“Senior police officers representing the various departments and associations within the force were given enough opportunity to present their views and whatever concerns they had.
“Every view raised was addressed clearly and satisfactorily.
“One of the concerns was that the police would lose their authority, but Tan Sri Abu Kassim convinced us that this would not happen if the IPCMC is set up,” Abdul Hamid told a press conference after the meeting which lasted just over an hour.
Also present were Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim and at least 20 high-ranking police officers.
Abdul Hamid said the setting up of the IPCMC would ensure that integrity would always be upheld and prioritised within the police force.
Abu Kassim said it was explained to the police team that the IPCMC would only investigate complaints on misconduct and hold no powers to prosecute.
“We had a heart-to-heart talk on issues that the police were concerned about. We gave our explanation on their concerns.
“To sum it up, the discussion was very positive. In principle, there is no objection to the setting up of the IPCMC and we have the support of the police,” he said.
Abu Kassim, a former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, said a technical meeting would be held within a week to finalise matters before a paper was presented to the Cabinet.
“Perhaps in two weeks or after Hari Raya, we can present the paper to the Cabinet for approval. We are positive the IPCMC can be set up by this year,” he said.
The IPCMC was among the 125 recommendations made by a Royal Commission of Inquiry formed in February 2004 following public uproar over a growing number of deaths in detention and police brutality claims.
The inquiry was mandated and tasked “to study and recommend measures to improve police efficiency, to make the force more effective in modern law enforcement and to turn the force into a respected and formidable enforcement body”.
The 16-member panel had found widespread power abuse within the force and a systematic lack of accountability and transparency.
Bukit Aman had prior to this objected to the IPCMC assuming the police’s power to take disciplinary action against its personnel.