PROHAM participated in a timely discussion hosted by the Bar Council and HAKAM on Rogue Corps: Workable Solutions – Police Accountability in Malaysia on May 30, 2015. Both Datuk Kuthubul Zaman, (the Proham Chairman) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Secretary General) were speakers on the panel moderated by Ms Firdaus Husni of the Bar Council
The Keynote address was given by Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah who was the Chairman of the Royal Police Commission. Also participating at the discussion was the EAIC Commissioner Ms Leong May Chan
The event was hosted in the context of reviewing the key findings of the Royal Police Commission which was completed ten years ago on April 29, 2015. There is a renewed call ten years on for the Federal Government to establish the IPCMC- Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission
The reason for this is the general public unhappiness over the current state of affairs especially in the continuing issue of death in custody, the public perception of high corruption levels and the continuing practice of “arrest first and investigate later approach”
At the Bar Council hosted discussion a majority of the panel speakers and the public highlights all made reference to misconduct of Police officers and the failure of the current initiatives to provide effective check and balance.
While it was recognised that the Police had established an internal Department of Integrity and Standard Compliance to strictly monitor “any form of misdemeanour or abuse of powers” among officers, and that the EAIC has been established and undertaking its task over the past four years, however there is a public view that these mechanisms were inadequate to address the current issues and restore public confidence.
We heard the presentation of the EAIC Commissioner and the updates of the EAIC officer. It was brought to our attention that a total of 1,064 complaints were received between 2011 and 2015 of which 789 were on matters pertaining to the Police. We were also briefed that only about 200 of these were investigated.
PROHAM is dismayed with the way the data was released and the explanations given. We feel that such data must be treated as public information and more needs to be done at the level of the public and civil society engagement to win public opinion and perception. A clearer presentation of the cases especially to why a majority of the complaints were not investigated must be clearly explained so as to restore public confidence
PROHAM feels that one major reason for the current ineffectiveness is due to the number of enforcement agencies that EAIC has to monitor namely 21 enforcement agencies. Furthermore based on the number of public complaints on the Police, there is therefore a justification that original Police Commission recommendation be adopted.
PROHAM calls on the Federal Government to establish the IPCMC to monitor the police and the EAIC continues the work of monitoring the remaining 20 enforcement agencies.
Issued on behalf of PROHAM by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman (Proham Chair) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Proham Secretary General) June 6, 2015