KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) says an independent commission is needed to eradicate graft and misconduct in the police force.
MACC’s consultative and corruption prevention panel (CCPP) chairman Tan Sri Johan Jaafar said today the police should consider this proposal seriously to regain the faith and confidence of the public in the force.
It will be similar to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which was suggested by a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) years ago.
Renaming it the Independent Police Integrity Commission (IPIC), he said it would be an effective deterrent to all forms of serious misconduct and power abuse by police personnel, including bribery.
Johan led a CCPP delegation to Bukit Aman today where he met Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and other top police officers to discuss ways to counter graft in the police force.
Also present at the meeting was MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.
Johan said although the CCPP is aware of the issues that arose when the IPCMC was suggested by the RCI, it is of the opinion that IPIC can be the ultimate solution to reform the police force, assuring “check and balance” and transparency.
The recommendation for the IPCMC was initially made eight years ago by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police – a recommendation that was never realised due to strong objections by police top brass who lamented that there would be partial and other unfair policies against its personnel if such commission were to be in place.
Over the years, the police sidelined the recommendation despite repeated calls by various quarters, including the Bar Council, for such a commission to be formed.
In a press conference, Johan said although the newly formed police Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) was tasked to handle power abuse and misconduct, it should be a full-fledged Internal Affairs Division with “more teeth to bite wrong-doers”.
He said this is in line with Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call for the police to emulate the New York Police Department, which had countered corruption within its force after forming a highly effective internal affairs division.
Johan said CCPP and the police force had also agreed to work together on several programmes, including one called the “adopted department programme” where the former will provide consultation and guidance to any “problematic” police unit or division over a certain duration.
Khalid said the meeting was fruitful and the joint cooperation between the police and MACC is a positive move in fighting corruption.
On changing the negative perception of the public on the police force, Khalid said the issue is the mindset of the people and it can only be changed by engaging the public through programmes and other means of interaction.
“This is not only happening here but in other countries. For instance, the crime index has fallen way down at negative (-) 12.4% but when crimes occur, people continue to think it is high,” he said.
Abu Kassim said corruption within enforcement bodies is a universal problem but what is crucial are the efforts being taken to control, if not eradicate it. – The Sun