KUALA LUMPUR: Efforts to pass the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill have been delayed after it was decided to be referred to Parliament's Special Select Committee for Consideration of Bills.
This will be the first time in Parliament's history that a Bill is being referred to a Special Select Committee for consideration.
The Bill had faced resistance from Opposition lawmakers, as well as a Government backbencher, who raised objections when the Bill was tabled for its second reading by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
The heated exchanged was initially sparked when Liew's deputy, Hanipa Maidin, informed Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof that the Bill would be debated and passed Monday (Oct 7).
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) voiced his dissatisfaction, saying that only a day was allotted for debates.
"The Bill involves the reputation of the police and is of public interest.
"There should be more time for us to debate the Bill before it is passed," he said.
More shouting erupted from several Opposition lawmakers when Liew said there would be 24 amendments to the Bill, which would be passed before it is brought to the committee stage.
Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjung Karang) claimed Pakatan was trying to bulldoze the IPCMC Bill in disregard of Parliamentary procedure.
He said lawmakers were only given notice of the amendments to the Bill on Monday.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) noted that the House was setting a bad precedent if it went ahead with the debates.
"How can debates on the Bill proceed and be passed but later brought to the committee.
"It is like getting married first and then only talking about the gift offerings (hantaran)," he said.
Both Noh and Dr Wee urged Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who later presided over the proceedings, to withdraw the Bill and refer it to the Parliament Special Select Committee before retabling it again.
Hassan Abdul Karim (PKR-Pasir Gudang) said he agreed that the Bill should be withdrawn and retabled instead of the amendments passed in such a manner.
After the lunch break, Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming clarified that the Bill will not be put to vote.
Instead, debates will be continued and the minister will then table a motion to refer the Bill to the Special Select Committee for their deliberation.
Nga said the Special Select Committee will then study all the points raised during the debates.
"We are doing this to give opportunities to other lawmakers who are not part of the committee to give their input.
"So don't worry, it won't be passed today," he added.
The IPCMC Bill was tabled for the first reading on July 18 and is aimed to replace the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).
Several engagement sessions were held with stakeholders and the police after it was tabled in July.