Joint Statement: Ensure IPCMC Set Up Without Delay

4 Dec 2019

The undersigned civil society organisations are concerned at the sudden announcement by the government on 3 Dec 2019 that the second reading of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill would be postponed to next year. This is especially concerning since it had already been announced on 2 Dec 2019 that the chair of the Special Select Committee on Bill Considerations YB Ramkarpal Singh would table the motion for the bill to be debated on 3 Dec 2019.

In our view, the formation of the IPCMC is one of the most important reforms in new Malaysia. The need for an independent oversight body focused on improving professional standards of the police and ensuring accountability for any alleged misconduct is a long-standing issue and cannot be put off any longer.

Despite the formation of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) 10 years ago, unfortunately, there are still regular reports of alleged police brutality, questionable police shootings and deaths in custody and outright corruption. Importantly, the EAIC does not have the power to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the police, despite findings of misconduct. We have thus seen cases where the EAIC has found serious misconduct such as tampering with diary entries and making false police reports by police officers, but have not seen any corresponding disciplinary action by the police.

The undersigned civil society organisations have participated actively in the consultations that have been held by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong together with the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (GIACC). Although we were disappointed that the bill was not made available for comment before it was presented in Parliament for first reading, we are nevertheless encouraged by the unprecedented level of engagement from the government after that point. We have submitted our oral and written views on how we thought the bill could be improved and brought in line with international best practices.

We were also part of the consultations held by the bipartisan Special Select Committee chaired by YB Ramkarpal Singh, where oral and written submissions were also made. We commend the government and the Special Select Committee for engaging with stakeholders on this issue. We are heartened that some of our submissions have been taken into account in the amendments that have been proposed by the government and by the Special Select Committee.

We hope that the delay is indeed to fine-tune the bill and not due to inordinate pressure against the bill. We note that the police have concerns regarding the commission having disciplinary powers over them. We would like to point out however, that these powers will be exercised not by the Commission directly, but by separate disciplinary boards that will consist of commission members, a representative from the police force and a representative from the Police Force Commission.

We hope that the government will remain true to its manifesto promise to establish the IPCMC without delay and we remain committed to engaging with them and supporting this effort wherever we can.

Endorsing organisations:
1. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
2. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham)
3. Justice for Sisters
4. Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity (MAJU)
5. Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center)
6. National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)

Arrest of Siti Kasim draws flak from all quarters

Source: The Star Online

KAJANG: The arrest of lawyer activist Siti Kasim and the police application of remand for her have drawn much outrage from lawyers and activists in the country.

They criticised the actions of the men in blue, saying that the matter could have been resolved amicably.

A number of lawyers and social activists showed up in solidarity with Siti at the Kajang magistrate’s court where the police attempted to obtain a remand order.

They included lawyer and National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah. Read more

Work on police misconduct commission, rights group tells Putrajaya

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

KUALA LUMPUR: Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged the new Pakatan Harapan government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission in its first term of office as outlined in its election manifesto.

In a statement, HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams said this would ensure that all allegations of misconduct are investigated in a fair and comprehensive way.

He added that such measures were critical to reforming the country’s police force.

Adams said the PH government, headed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, must also move swiftly to implement the human rights commitments set out in its election manifesto.

He said the organisation had written to Mahathir on the matter, adding that Malaysia could become a regional example of a protector and proponent of human rights and rule of law by fulfilling these promises. Read more

Muhyiddin: IPCMC in the pipeline

Source: The Malay Mail

HAKAM Comment: Let us hope that pipeline isn’t going to be a long one that it ends up being a pipe dream! Syabas PH government! 

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Department of Home Affairs in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The new Pakatan Harapan federal government is in the process of establishing an Independent Police Complaints-Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), Minister of Home Affairs Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

Muhyiddin made the announcement here on the first day at work as home affairs minister under a new ruling coalition that took over on May 9.

The Pagoh MP said the setting up of the commission is part of the pledges made by PH in its election manifesto. The four-party coalition had vowed to reform the police force.

“It’s a longstanding idea so we are looking into it,” Muhyiddin told a press conference at the ministry’s main office here.

Police reform was a key election promise of PH, a point Muhyiddin stressed today as he vowed to see through the coalition’s promises to uphold civil liberties. Read more

Renewed calls for IPCMC after failure to stop custodial deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Civil society groups have renewed calls for the government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), calling the current Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) an organisation without “bite”.

In a public forum organised by the Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC today and in collaboration with several other human rights groups at the Bar Council’s new headquarters near Dataran Merdeka, they insisted that the EAIC had failed to stop deaths in custody.

Other participants included representatives from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), National Human Rights Society (Hakam), the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham), and Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT). Read more

Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia Forum

Taken from Facebook

Bar Council Malaysia is renewing its call to the Malaysian Government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, as was recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005.

The Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC in collaboration with SUHAKAM, SUARAM, HAKAM and PROHAM, is holding a public forum entitled “Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia”. The purpose of this forum is to look into the cases involving police shooting, and deaths in police custody, in Malaysia; the measures taken – or lack thereof – by the Enforcement Agency Intergrity Commission (“EAIC”) in addressing the situation; and the resulting need to set up an IPCMC.

Programme

2.30 PM- Registration

3.00 PM- Welcoming Remarks by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman B Bukhari Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

3.15 PM- Opening Remarks by YBhg Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman, SUHAKAM

3.30 PM- Keynote address by Roger Chan Weng Keng, Secretary, Malaysian Bar

3.45 PM- Slide Presentation by Sivaraj Retinasekharan, Member, Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC;

4.15 PM- Panel Discussion

5.45 PM- Closing Remarks by Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam, Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

*Light refreshments will be served during the registration

List of panellists

1. Dato’ Dr. Profesor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Deputy President, National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
2. Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
3. Ivy Josiah, Secretary-General, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
4. Commisioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
5. M. Visvanathan, Founder, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse In Custody (EDICT)

Moderator : Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam

Lawyers renew call for special commission on police misconduct

Source: Free Malaysia Today 

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers and rights activists have again called for a special commission to address police misconduct, in the wake of the confirmation that police were to blame for the death in custody of S Balamurugan last year.

They said that only an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) can address the issue.

Lawyer M Visvanathan said no suspects should die in lock-ups during an investigation, as they are innocent until proven guilty in court.

Read more

Coroner: Cops careless, diabetic man in lockup could live if treated

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Police lock up – file pic taken from The Star

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The police had acted negligently and had failed to ensure immediate medical treatment that could have saved a diabetic man from dying in 2015 after just around three days in the Dang Wangi lockup, a coroner ruled today.

Coroner Mohd Zulbahrin Zainuddin noted that R. Thangaraja’s family had testified that he had suffered from diabetes since the age of 21 and had required insulin injections twice a day to avoid feeling dizzy, and that he had in the past been brought to the hospital over his condition.

“Although the cause of death is associated with heart attack and diabetes, it is this court’s finding that the deceased’s life could have been saved if early treatment was given to him while he was in detention, even more so when there were signs of him being ill.

“The failure to give early treatment to the deceased is linked to the carelessness of the lockup management that failed to provide the attention and consideration due to the deceased who was proven to have suffered from health problems since he was first detained in the Dang Wangi lockup,” said Mohd Zulbahrin, who is also a Sessions Court judge. Read more

Klang MP calls for inquiry into custodial death case

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Klang MP Charles Santiago has called for an official inquiry into alleged police negligence following the death of a detainee while en route to hospital for medical treatment yesterday.

Ganeshwaran Gunasigeren, 29, had been arrested for allegedly breaking into a factory in Bukit Tinggi.

Santiago said he was calling for the inquiry given the contradictory statements by the South Klang police chief and Ganeshwaran’s mother, in the interest of public accountability and good governance.

He said Ganeshwaran’s mother had disputed the police statement which claimed there were no signs of discomfort when Ganeshwaran was transported to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, and that he was “looking healthy and talking normally”.  Read more

Police officers ignored multiple SOPs, says North Klang police station chief

Source: The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The police officers at the North Klang District police station repeatedly ignored standard operating procedures in their handling of detainee S. Balamurugan who died in their custody, said its chief.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Yusoff Mamat (pic) said this at the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) hearing investigating the death of 44-year old S.Balamurugan who died in custody on Feb 7.

“I had in a briefing in December said that any detainee found ill should be sent to the hospital immediately. They disobeyed me.

“I was not informed that Balamurugan’s remand application was rejected. On top of that they had also defied the Inspector General Standing Orders (IGSO) by not allowing the detainee to change out of his lock up clothes when taken to court,” he said on Tuesday.

Read more