Revamping the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) will not address the issue of custodial deaths because the commission has been designed to fail.

The DAP's Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said this in a statement responding to Paul Low, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, who had suggested the EAIC revamp over starting afresh with an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

NONE"The difference between the two is clearly in their intent, with the former set up as a toothless tiger meant specifically as a cosmetic job to placate public demand for an IPCMC, while pandering to strident objections of the police force,” Pua (left) said.

"An IPCMC as recommended by the royal commission of inquiry on the Royal Malaysia Police in 2005 was clearly an agency to check, discipline and inculcate greater professionalism in the police force. Hence, the former is specifically designed to fail the objectives of the latter.”

Pua pointed out that EAIC only has one investigating officer in its 23-man staff - including clerks and drivers - to oversee 19 government agencies, as well as the police force.

He added that since the EAIC's formation in September 2011 until the end of 2012, it had only recommended one disciplinary action against a police officer for closing a case too soon and two warnings to civil servants.

"Even in this relatively minor case of indiscipline, EAIC chief executive officer Nor Afizah Hanum Mokhtar admitted that she doesn't know if the recommended disciplinary action of a demotion has actually been carried out by the police," he said.

'Government's spokesperson'

By defending an institution designed to fail, Pua said that Low - who was the former Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president - had become a spokesperson to merely convey the cabinet's decision.

NONE"It is deeply disappointing that since being appointed as the 'transparency minister', Low (right) has now reversed his earlier position to argue that the special complaints commission in the form of the EAIC is now sufficient to regulate the enforcement authorities, particularly the police force," he said.

Calls for an IPCMC to replace the EAIC which lacks prosecution powers have been in the spotlight recently after a string of deaths in custody.

It was reported yesterday that a 33-year-old Japanese citizen died in police custody on June 8, allegedly by hanging himself, making it the fourth custodial death in 18 days since N Dhamendran's death and the ninth this year.

In the autopsy report, it was revealed that Dhamendran had been tortured, suffering a total of 52 injuries before succumbing to multiple blunt force trauma while he had been in police custody.