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  • SUARAM

[Joint Statement] by CSOs Regarding Escalating Police Misconduct Cases and IPCC Formation

Translation in Malay is provided at the end of the statement.


CSO: Empower IPCC To Remedy the Public Trust Deficit in PDRM


We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the escalating trend of police misconduct cases in recent months. These cases include a police officer having allegedly extorted and raped an Uzbek teenager in a patrol car, a police officer slapping a civilian, and a senior police officer being implicated in a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a high school student, the arrest of a police inspector on alleged abduction of a Bangladeshi man, among others. 


As the largest enforcement agency in the country, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) is tasked with the mandate of protecting the public. In these instances of misconduct, however, the officers have become perpetrators that pose a threat to public safety. These incidents cannot and should not be viewed as isolated crimes committed by individual actors; rather, they encapsulate a broader phenomenon within the police force perpetuated by a culture of impunity and a deficiency in implementing robust preventive measures. Moreover, this prevailing trend underscores the inadequacies inherent in the existing police oversight mechanism.


We are of the opinion that the Unity Government has missed the golden opportunity to strengthen the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC), which was crucial in addressing this systemic issue.


Overdue since August 2023, the announcement of the appointment of five IPCC members was made by Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution about two weeks ago. This development took place after the announcement by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission that it would cease accepting complaints concerning PDRM personnel starting July 2023. Notably, the IPCC appointments were made without engaging with non-governmental stakeholders, particularly civil society organisations (CSOs).


Upon scrutiny of the Independent Police Conduct Commission Act and the jurisdiction of the Commission, it becomes evident that the Unity Government has failed to improve the said legislation in line with input from CSOs. It is noteworthy that content in the current Act diverges from the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s stance, which rejected the IPCC Bill in 2022. The scope of IPCC is a far cry from that in the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) proposed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in 2005. The IPCC is clearly less effective as an oversight mechanism than the already inadequate EAIC.


We are concerned that Inherent structural deficiencies within the IPCC will render the oversight mechanism to be a ‘toothless tiger’, irrespective of the competence and experience of the Commission’s members. The IPCC is unable to conduct searches and seizures and make unannounced visits to police lockups. Devoid of the authority to take direct disciplinary action against offending police officers, the Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to providing recommendations to the Police Force Commission for subsequent action. Given these limitations, we harbour reservations about the IPCC’s efficacy in addressing misconduct, as its jurisdiction for investigation and enforcement of penalties is significantly restricted.


Nevertheless, our commitment to work with the government to improve the Commission remains unwavering. We propose arranging a meeting between CSOs and members of IPCC at the earliest to explore avenues in ensuring effective functioning of the Commission. Concurrently, we also call on the government to implement an open and transparent selection process for the remaining two Commission member vacancies, whilst ensuring that the composition of IPCC reflects current societal diversity. It is also imperative that a periodic review of the Commission’s performance and effectiveness once every two years, with review findings presented in Parliament. Legal amendments and policy improvements must be pursued as soon as possible, in order to ensure that IPCMC’s essence, best practices and international standards are upheld.


An independent and effective police oversight entity is crucial for not just the public but also the police force. The role of IPCC assumes heightened significance in light of the decline in PDRM’s reputation and subsequent widening of trust deficit by the public towards the police. We urge that transparent and impartial investigations be conducted on instances of police misconduct, so that PDRM’s integrity will be upheld and safeguarded. We also seek to work together for the public and the police force’s benefit - to help build a police force that is accountable, and trusted and respected by the public.


Endorsed by:

1. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

2. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

3. All Women's Action Society (AWAM)

4. Justice for Sisters

5. Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH)

6. Undi18

7. North South Initiative

8. Liga Rakyat Demokratik

9. University of Malaya Association for New Youth (UMANY)

10. EMPOWER

11. Sisters in Islam

12. Tenaganita

13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)

14. Aliran

15. Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS)

16. Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE)

17. Pusat KOMAS

18. KLSCAH Youth

19. Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity (MAJU)

20. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)

21. Teoh Beng Hock Association for Democratic Advancement

22. Gabungan Marhaen

23. Persatuan Amal Progresif Selangor

24. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan KL

25. Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center)

26. JERIT – Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas

27. Gerak Malaysia

28. Borneo Komrad

29. Mamas Bersih

30. Serikat Malaysia

31. Sabah AIDS Support Services Association (KASIH)

32. ⁠Advocates for Non-discrimination and Access to Knowledge (ANAK)

33. Lawyer Kamek

34. Penan Empowerment Networking Association (PENA)

35. Independent Coalition Of Natives (ICON)

36. KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee (KLSCAH CRC)

37. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)

38. Jentayu

39. Persatuan Wanita Maju Selangor & KL

40. Agora Society

41. ICON LEGEND, Sarawak

42. Parti Sosialis Malaysia - PSM

43. Rahman Student League

44. Rahman Solidarity League

45. Persatuan Bertutur Bahasa Mandarin Malaysia Negeri Johor

46. Student Progressive Front UUM 北大前进阵线

47. Suara Siswa UUM 北大学声阵线

48. Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM

49. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua USM 理大华文学会

50. Suara Siswa UM

51. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)

52. Sarawak AIDS Concern Society (SACS)

53. Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA)

54. Global Bersih

55. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)

56. Amnesty International Malaysia

57. Transparency International Malaysia --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KENYATAAN BERSAMA MASYARAKAT SIVIL

MENGENAI KES SALAH LAKU POLIS DAN PEMBENTUKAN IPCC

 

CSO: PERKASAKAN IPCC UNTUK PULIHKAN KRISIS KEPERCAYAAN PDRM

 

Pertubuhan masyarakat sivil (Civil society organisation - CSO) yang tertulis di bawah mengambil serius terhadap trend kes salah laku polis yang kian meningkat baru-baru ini. Ini termasuk kes anggota polis yang didakwa memeras ugut dan rogol remaja Uzbekistan dalam kereta peronda polis, anggota polis menampar orang awam, pegawai kanan polis terbabit kes langgar sehingga menyebabkan kematian seorang pelajar, inspektor polis ditahan disyaki terlibat melarikan seorang warga Bangladesh, dan lain-lain lagi.

 

Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) sebagai agensi penguatkuasaan terbesar di Malaysia sepatutnya menjadi pelindung kepada masyarakat, sebaliknya dalam kes-kes sebegini, pegawai-pegawainya malah menjadi si pelaku yang mengancam keselamatan awam. Kes-kes ini tidak boleh dilihat sebagai jenayah individu tetapi suatu fenomena yang didorong budaya bebas daripada hukuman dalam pasukan polis serta kekurangan langkah-langkah pencegahan yang efektif. Trend ini juga menunjukkan mekanisme pengawasan polis sedia ada yang kurang berkesan.

 

Kami berpendapat bahawa Kerajaan Perpaduan telah terlepas peluang keemasan untuk memulihkan fenomena ini dengan memperkasakan institusi Suruhanjaya Bebas Tatakelakuan Polis (IPCC).

 

Setelah tertangguh sejak Ogos 2023, lebih kurang dua minggu yang lalu Menteri Dalam Negeri Saifuddin Nasution telah mengumumkan pelantikan lima orang ahli IPCC. Ini berlaku selepas Suruhanjaya Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan (EAIC) membuat pengumuman tidak lagi menerima aduan berhubung PDRM bermula Julai 2023. Pelantikan-pelantikan ini juga dilakukan tanpa sesi libat urus bersama pihak berkepentingan terutamanya CSO.

 

Jika diteliti akta dan bidang kuasa IPCC sekarang, Kerajaan Perpaduan bukan sahaja tidak menambah baik mengikut pandangan CSO, malah ia tidak sehaluan dengan pendirian Pakatan Harapan sendiri yang menolak RUU IPCC pada tahun 2022. Bidang kuasa IPCC adalah jauh berbeza dengan Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salah Laku Polis (IPCMC) yang dicadangkan oleh Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) pada tahun 2005, jelas IPCC lebih tidak efektif berbanding EAIC yang sememangnya sedia lemah.

 

Tidak kira betapa cekap dan berpengalaman ahli Suruhanjaya, kami khuatir kekurangan IPCC secara struktural hanya akan menjadikan ‘Suruhanjaya Rujukan’ (Referral Commission), ibarat ‘harimau tidak bertaring’. IPCC tiada kuasa untuk menggeledah atau menyita, tidak boleh melawat lokap polis tanpa notis awal, malah tidak boleh mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap pesalah laku dan hanya mampu memberi cadangan kepada Suruhanjaya Pasukan Polis untuk tindakan lanjut. Kami sangsi bahawa IPCC dapat menangani isu salah laku polis secara efektif memandangkan bidang kuasanya untuk menyiasat dan menguatkuasakan hukuman adalah amat terhad.

 

Namun begitu, kami masih bersedia untuk bekerjasama. Kami mencadangkan satu mesyuarat antara CSO dan IPCC untuk diadakan dalam masa terdekat bagi mencari jalan dalam memastikan institusi in dapat sekurang-kurangnya berfungsi secara efektif. Kami juga menyeru kerajaan untuk memastikan pemilihan baki dua orang ahli Suruhanjaya dijalankan secara terbuka dan telus. Selain itu, komposisi IPCC juga perlu mencerminkan masyarakat yang berkepelbagaian. Penilaian berkala (periodic review) terhadap prestasi dan keberkesanan IPCC perlu dilaksanakan setiap dua tahun dan dibentangkan di Parlimen. Pindaan undang-undang dan penambahbaikan dasar perlu diusahakan secepat mungkin agar ia mencapai semangat asal IPCMC, amalan baik dan piawaian antarabangsa.

 

Satu badan pengawasan polis yang bebas dan efektif bukan sahaja penting untuk pihak awam tetapi juga kepada pihak polis. Tugas IPCC adalah kritikal terutamanya semasa reputasi dan imej PDRM semakin merosot serta defisit kepercayaan terhadap PDRM semakin melebar. Kami menyeru agar sebarang siasatan terhadap kes-kes salah laku polis dijalankan secara telus dan adil supaya integriti PDRM terpelihara. Kami juga bersedia bekerjasama bagi membina satu pasukan polis yang berakaunbiliti, dipercayai serta dihormati oleh rakyat jelata.


Disokong oleh: Lihat senarai di atas.



Turut hadir rakan-rakan seperjuangan daripada organisasi masyarakat sivil (CSO).
Sidang media telah dilakukan di Pejabat SUARAM pada jam 11 pagi tadi.

Turut hadir rakan-rakan seperjuangan daripada organisasi masyarakat sivil (CSO).

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