Nothing to celebrate over IPCMC yet

Nothing to celebrate over IPCMC yet

By Rama Ramanathan

Opinion leaders have been dancing and singing in praise of the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the ‘imminent’ establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

I’m glad that Datuk Seri Hamid Bador has made some positive remarks about an IPCMC, but I’m not dancing and singing.

IGP Datuk Seri Hamid Bador

I’m mindful that Hamid, in his celebrated October 2015 open letter about leaders who colluded with “Kerajaan Kleptokrat Najib” did not mention the IPCMC proposed ten years earlier by the Police Commission.

In that letter, he asked to be transferred to the “Integrity Department” (JIPS) to address discipline and corruption issues in PDRM.

It has fallen to me to remind Hamid of some powerful words in the third sentence of his missive:

… rakyat Malaysia yang berasa amat terguris hati, marah, kecewa, hampa, geram serta terhimpit dengan “tingkahlaku tidak bertanggungjawab” pemimpin-pemimpin kerajaan sejak kebelakangan ini.

… Malaysians are extremely heart-broken, angry, distraught, drained, exasperated and burdened by the irresponsible behaviour of government leaders in the recent past.

It has fallen to me to remind Hamid that citizens feel just as emotionally and negatively about PDRM as they do about 1MDB.

That is why many citizens are so disappointed that Hamid has said nothing to support establishing an Independent Investigation Task Force to make up for the botched and superficial investigations of the enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh.

In January 2019, Hamid, as acting Deputy IGP and prospective IGP, must have known that Suhakam’s conclusions would be damning of PDRM. This is so because on 15 January “final submissions” were exchanged between PDRM and the lawyers acting for Amri and Raymond. (The period IGP Tan Sri Fuzi Harun and his favoured officers were occupied with their Turkey junket.)

Yet, to-date, Hamid has not announced the suspensions of any officers who lied under oath during the Suhakam inquiry, who were negligent in performing their duties and who falsified documents. Is 5 months not enough for “the integrity department” to act against the culprits?

To-date, Hamid has been silent on PM Mahathir’s insinuation that the august Suhakam commissioners relied on unreliable evidence when they concluded that the police abducted and disappeared Amri and Raymond.

I’m not confident an IPCMC Bill will in fact be passed this year by both houses of Parliament and signed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agung. I cannot see the Senate passing the bill. I can see the royals opposing it.

In any case, the public has been kept in the dark about the “new” IPCMC bill – many of us wonder what has been dropped from the 2005 draft.

I think the flood of media stories about IPCMC are a distraction from the real issue – the need for immediate action to curb rogue police officers from threatening witnesses, destroying evidence and planting stories.

I can see no morally sound reasons for why independent taskforces were established to investigate Anwar’s black eye and the 1MDB thievery, but not for the damning findings published by Suhakam 41 days ago.

I think all the talk of IPCMC is a smokescreen to distract from the lack of political courage and vigour to nab the rogue officers who have repeatedly and relentlessly destroyed the reputation of the police force.

I’ll celebrate when the independent investigation begins and I’ll dance and sing when Amri and Raymond are located.

Rama Ramanathan blogs at and is the spokesperson for CAGED, Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online.

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