Aliran, Hakam and Suaram have issued a joint statement calling on the IGP to resign if he cannot accept the setting up of the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.
Even though the Prime Minister has, in principle, supported the setting up of the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohd Bakri Omar has since gone on record in openly rejecting the setting up of the Independent Commission.
We find the statement made by the IGP appalling and unprofessional. As the head of the police force – and being a civil servant appointed by the Prime Minister to enforce the law – the IGP has no business in deciding national policy matters such as the setting up of the IPCMC.
The proposed IPCMC is one of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Commission set up by the government, following widespread demands from civil society and the public for police reform. This recommendation for the Independent Commission was further reinforced after a second Royal Commission concluded its investigation of the police ‘nude-squats’ scandal. By opposing the IPCMC, the IGP is going against the popular demand for police reform and the two Royal Commissions, which were supported by public funds.
The IGP's position is in open defiance of the Prime Minister, who had endorsed the IPCMC earlier to clean up the police force, tainted by massive corruption and flagrant abuse of power.
The IGP's stance is also a reflection of a police force that is increasingly becoming uncontrollable and unaccountable to anyone in the country. This was especially evident when, a day after the IGP's statement, the police turned out in full force at the KLCC to violently disperse a peaceful protest against the recent fuel price hike and brutalized the peaceful protestors. Many were kicked and beaten up by the police and some two dozen of people arbitrarily arrested. The police further blocked the entrance of the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) building, when civil society representatives went there to call for a public inquiry on police brutality on Monday.
This unaccountability by the police shows us how urgent it is to establish the IPCMC to bring discipline to the police force and to prevent abuse of power. We are disturbed to hear that another two men died in police custody last week.
We express our full support for the immediate implementation of the IPCMC. We call on the IGP to resign from his post if he is not able to accept the will of the people.
The Prime Minister must put a stop to this nonsensical stance of the IGP and sack him if he chooses to remain as IGP while continuing to oppose the IPCMC. This is the only way for the Prime Minister to honour his pledge to Malaysians – that is, to reform the police force and to uphold the will of the people – and to make the police accountable and transparent at long last.
Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN)
Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Manusia (HAKAM)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)