Top Cop Looks To Ordinary Malaysians To Keep Police In Check

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 – Brushing aside a proposal that an Independent Police Integrity Commission (Ipic) be set up to check abuse of power and graft among the boys in blue, top cop Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that the public are the best monitor of police misconduct. He said the public were tech savvy and made use of their smartphones to immediately expose any abuse of power or misconduct via social media.

“I think this is the best monitoring for us. With the smartphone, they take a picture and put it on YouTube. So the people generally can monitor anything that involves the police,” the inspector-general of police said in Kuala Lumpur today. Khalid was commenting on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Consultation and Prevention Panel’s suggestion that the police look into setting up the Ipic, in an effort to reform the force and improve public perception towards it.

“I am waiting for the proposal. We have not seen it yet. We will see what are the suggestions and proposals made by the committee in setting up the Ipic before making any comments. “But as I have said before, PDRM is not only closely monitored by the new Integrity and Standard Compliance Department but also by the MACC and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

“But more than that, we are also monitored by the people.” The Ipic is similar to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which was proposed by the 2005 Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI). The MACC panel said it believed that the Ipic, which would be independent, would be as effective as the IPCMC in preventing police misconduct and abuse of power, including bribery.

Despite calls by the opposition to set up the IPCMC following a string of death in custody cases, the police and Putrajaya have repeatedly rejected the proposal. They said it was unconstitutional and would result in overlapping jurisdictions. Khalid, however, said the police have never objected to the setting up of IPCMC, but only certain terms in the clause that did not leave police any rights.

“It is as if we are second-class citizens. That we have no rights under the law with IPCMC.” It was reported that under the IPCMC, there is no clause to permit convicted officers to appeal decisions in court. Critics of the IPCMC, including former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, have said that the IPCMC must include an avenue for this, arguing that police should be accorded fairness and justice.

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