KUALA LUMPUR, 30 June 2009: The government rejected the proposal to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconducts Commission (IPCMC) because its powers were “too broad” and unconstitutional.
Nazri (File pic) “The IPCMC would have acted as investigator, prosecutor, judge, and executioner simultaneously,” de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz told Parliament today.
“The (IPCMC) concept contravenes principles found in the Federal Constitution and existing laws,” he added.
Nazri argued that the commission’s powers to punish and indict would go against Articles 140 and 145 of the Federal Constitution. These articles concern the powers of the Attorney General and the Police Force Commission.
Nazri noted that constitutionally, the power to prosecute lay solely with the Attorney General.
Nazri, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was responding to a question from DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang during the debate of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (Siap) Bill 2009 today. The Bill is currently in its second reading and is expected to be passed by the end of the current parliamentary sitting.
Siap is the last of a triumvirate of reforms former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hopes will be his legacy. It is widely seen as the government’s answer to the IPCMC, which was proposed by the Royal Police Commission in 2005.
“The powers given to the IPCMC would affect an individual’s basic rights, as it does not have a ‘check and balance’ system, and may be abused,” Nazri stressed.
“Under IPCMC provisions, an individual is ‘condemned’ from the start, even though the complaints against him [or her] have not been proven. He [or she] is treated worse off compared to an accused in a court of law,” he added.
Unfair to police
Nazri also stressed that the IPCMC’s specific attention on the police force would be unfair.
“If the objective of the IPCMC is to address problems of corruption and wrongdoing, it must be used for all enforcement agencies, and not just the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM),” Nazri said.
“The government is of the view that if only PDRM is monitored, this will oppress the PDRM,” he added.
The Bill to set up Siap has mainly been criticised for its lack of power to prosecute, and the fact that it encompasses all enforcement agencies and not just the police.