Transparency International Malaysia urges the Royal Malaysian Police to Embrace the IPCMC.
Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) urges the brave and loyal officers of the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) to embrace the Independent Police Complaints and Monitoring Commission (IPCMC) as an oversight body to improve their image and to bring in overdue reforms.
Recently, the outgoing Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Fuzi Harun voiced his reservation to the establishment of the IPCMC and claimed to represent the voice of the majority of the more than 130,000 strong law enforcement agency. This comes after civil society took to the streets on 8 April 2019 demanding the government to stop dragging their feet to establish the IPCMC as promised by the Pakatan Harapan government, which came into power exactly one year ago. Statutory bodies like Suhakam have also expressed their disappointment towards the government taking lightly the shocking revelation of the RMP’s alleged involvement in enforced disappearances.
The Criticism and doubt shrouding the RMP’s integrity and independence is no new phenomena. In the Malaysian Corruption Barometer Survey conducted by Transparency International (TI) in 2014, the RMP failed to make the grade, with 42% of fellow Malaysians who perceived the institution as corrupt.
Further findings from the survey also reveal that the second most common reason surveyed Malaysians did not report corruption was the perception that “it would not make a difference” – suggesting lack of trust in the effectiveness of reporting channels, or that public officials have impunity when they commit corruption offences. Could this be the case if the organisation is expected to ‘independently’ investigate and expose corruption and misbehaviour among its own rank and file?
According to official statistics provided by the Home Ministry in a parliamentary reply on 28 March 2017, there have been at least 1,654 reported deaths in police custody between 2010 and 2017, most of which have not been reported in the media, and there is no publicly available data on the outcomes of internal investigations carried out by the police, on their own agency for allegations of foul play.
The original idea for the establishment of an IPCMC was mooted more than a decade ago, as recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005. This was replaced by the watered down Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission in 2009, after the previous government failed to honour their pledge to improve public perception of the RMP’s integrity.
TI-M commends the Pakatan Harapan government for its efforts in trying to ensure all-rounded understanding and acceptance of the IPCMC before implementation; but echoes civil society in appealing to the government to retain all the original 125 recommendations in the Royal Commission report, to ensure the IPCMC has the necessary ‘teeth’ to tackle misconduct.
The majority of the police force in Malaysia are hardworking, dedicated and honest civil servants whom suffer from a bad reputation due to perceptions and overdue structural reforms. TI-M appreciates the sacrifice of these gatekeepers of law and order, and urges the RMP to embrace these reforms and to be transparent so that public perception on the police force can be improved.
For any questions refer to Dr Muhammad Mohan, President Transparency International Malaysia (firstname.lastname@example.org or 012-3162160)