Putrajaya postpones subsequent readings of IPCC Bill

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said is pictured in Parliament, Kuala Lumpur August 27, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said is pictured in Parliament, Kuala Lumpur August 27, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamad Said informed Parliament that he was deferring the second and third readings of the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020 he tabled yesterday.

The readings were meant to be in this meeting of Parliament but today is the final day of its scheduled sittings.

Yesterday, Ismail tabled the Bill as a replacement for the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan withdrew on behalf of the government.

The IPCMC was first proposed by the 2004 Royal Commission of Inquiry to enhance the operation and management of the Royal Malaysia Police.

In July 2019, the IPCMC Bill was tabled in Parliament with 24 amendments proposed and was slated for second reading in October 2019 before being referred for further review to the parliamentary special select committee, which reportedly made 12 additional amendments.

The draft for the IPCMC was prepared after exhaustive consultation sessions with the police and other stakeholders but it is still unknown which parties were involved in drawing up the IPCC.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Bar said it gave no input on the proposed IPCC and offered to provide legal advice to the government on this.

A cursory reading of both Bills showed that the IPCC lacked a clause in its predecessor that would have empowered the IPCMC to investigate offences directly; the new version proposed to refer any offences to the relevant law agency or the Police Force Commission.

The IPCC Bill also omitted the proposed Disciplinary Board with jurisdiction to  deal with cases of misconduct, with complaints against the inspector-general of police, for instance, to instead be heard by a Special Disciplinary Panel the chief secretary to the government would convene.

Some, such as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), have already criticised the apparent lack of independent oversight in the IPCC, which was at the heart of the repeated calls for an IPCMC in Malaysia. — Bernama

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