KUALA LUMPUR: The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) should be empowered to make its own regulation for the purpose of enforcement instead of the Prime Minister, says the G25 group of eminent Malays.
"We are of the view that the commission should be empowered to make its own regulations, and not the Prime Minister.
"To be an independent body, the commission should have the power to make and to amend its regulations from time to time in order to improve its enforcement framework and keep abreast with new developments," it said in a statement on Sunday (Nov 17).
On Nov 13, the Dewan Rakyat approved a motion to extend the deadline for the Parliamentary Special Select Committee to table its recommendations on the IPCMC Bill to Nov 25.
G25 said the Bill states that the Prime Minister advises the King on the appointment of commissioners.
"We are of the view that the appointment process must be clearly provided for, so as to ensure that the membership of the commission reflects the diversity of our society.
"The appointment process is fair, transparent and merit based. A committee comprised of eminent persons (i.e. persons who have held high public offices such as former superior court judges or former senior government legal officers, with a distinguished record and known for their integrity) should be established to handle the appointment process and eventually submit the selected candidates to the Prime Minister, who shall then recommend the names to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," the group said.
The group also suggested that the commissioners should be given security of tenure, similar to judges.
"This is an important step to improve integrity and to maintain the independence of the IPCMC," it added.
It also pointed out that under the Bill, the Prime Minister is empowered to amend, from time to time, the Schedule that provides for the composition of the disciplinary board.
"The Schedule is an integral part of the Act. We take the position that only Parliament should have the power to amend the Schedule and not the executive," said G25.
"The commissioners and officers of the commission should have all powers of investigation as contained in the Criminal Procedure Code and such powers shall be in addition to the powers conferred under the Act.
"Specific sections must be inserted to the Bill to empower the IPCMC to, amongst others, conduct public hearings, summon witnesses, examine witnesses, compel the production of documents, and to provide for the arrest of witnesses, for purposes of investigation and hearings," it said.
The group also urged that the commission should be given power to handle complaints against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
"Under the Bill, complaints against the IGP will not be dealt with by the IPCMC. Instead, the complaint will be referred to the Chief Secretary to Government and a Special Disciplinary Board will be constituted. No special treatment or protection should be given to the IGP under the IPCMC Bill," said G25.
It was noted that the IPCMC Bill allows the IPCMC to delegate any of its functions and powers to any member of the police force.
"We are of the view that this delegation provision should be excluded as it adversely affects the independence of the IPCMC," said the group.
Other suggestions include, putting a specific time frame on the police force to refer cases of grievous hurt or death in custody, heavy punishment for anyone who threatens or deter any individuals from giving evidence to IPCMC and not immediately dissolved the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) upon the establishment of IPCMC.
"Undoubtedly, the current IPCMC Bill contains ambiguity and weaknesses, all of which must be amended and improved upon by the legislators. The government must not rush through the enactment of the IPCMC Bill, and sufficient time must be spent by lawmakers and drafters to debate and to implement corrective measures in order to improve the IPCMC Bill before it is passed," it said.
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