Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Malaysians have heard enough of assurances and steps taken to prevent more custodial deaths. Implement IPCMC now!



Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipon Barat in Ipoh on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Malaysians have heard enough of assurances and steps taken to prevent more custodial deaths. Implement IPCMC now!

Minister in The Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low said 2 days ago that a "revamped" and "beefed up" Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission ( EAIC)  is a better option than starting a fresh commission like the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

A stronger EAIC, Low said, would be able to regulate 18 other agencies, besides the police force, and would be able to hit the ground running and not take time to break-in, such as a fresh IPCMC would have to.

Low said the Cabinet, upon his presentation on June 4, had concluded that empowering the EAIC was a better option for practical reasons.

The Cabinet’s decision is a real disappointment and has again shown its stubbornness to implement the IPCMC which Malaysians want as an effective solution to end the custodian deaths in police lock ups.
The Cabinet’s basis for rejecting IPCMC on the ground that setting IPCMC will involve too much time to get up and running is totally unconvincing and unacceptable. 

Clearly it is merely an excuse by the Cabinet which has no intention to set up the IPCMC which was recommended by Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Chief Justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2005.

Low should know that the public expect him to be the voice of the people in the Cabinet and not playing the role of being the spokesman or apologist for Cabinet’s decisions.

What I find most shocking is his reminder to all that even in Hong Kong, it took two decades for the police to clean up their act with the dedicated efforts of many parties working together. 

Unacceptable high number of custodial deaths in police lock ups had happened before and after the IPCMC proposal was mooted.

From January 2000 to December 2004, 80 cases or an annual average of 16 deaths in police custody had happened in those five years.  From January 2005 to May 2013, there were 141 deaths in police custody.
How long more should Malaysians be patient? One more decade? 

How many more deaths must occur before Cabinet will make the right decision?
Malaysians have heard enough of assurances and steps taken to prevent more custodial deaths. Time to implement IPCMC now.

What is needed is not more governmental assurances, studies or meetings, what is urgently needed is action to implement an effective solution which is the IPCMC.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib said a few years ago that the era when the government knows best is over. 

He should listen to the voice of the people and immediately implement IPCMC.









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