LETTER | Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is concerned with the conduct of the police in conducting pre-dawn raids at Najib Abdul Razak’s residence despite the lack of any imminent threat to security posed by the former prime minister and the subsequent complaints raised by him and his family.
Suaram is aware that Najib’s residence has been under police control since the 14th General Election and that the police have had ample opportunity to investigate the allegations of corruption by Najib since the information of the 1MDB debacle was first made public.
Under these circumstances, the police and the minister responsible must justify why the investigation did not start earlier and why was it necessary for the police raid to be conducted in middle of the night.
Furthermore, the recent allegation put forward by Najib regarding the conduct of the police during the raid on his properties must be addressed immediately to ensure no doubts would be cast upon the investigation.
Suaram welcomes the stance adopted by Bukit Aman’s Amar Singh and calls on the police to ensure that the alleged misconduct is investigated and addressed immediately if proven to be true.
Under the Police Act 1967, policy direction and responsibilities for the police still lies within the purview of the home minister. In the absence of the minister, it can be presumed that the prime minister would be responsible for overseeing the conduct of the police.
Irrespective of whether the minister had ordered the raid to be conducted the manner it was conducted, it is the responsibility of the minister to ensure that any misconduct, injustice or excessive use of force is subjected to scrutiny and curtailed if necessary through changes to the police standard operating procedure.
Acknowledging the need for justice and accountability for the alleged crimes committed by Najib during his term as prime minister, Malaysians must not forget that rule of law and appropriate operating procedure must be at the forefront of our quest for justice to ensure that bad practices that were common during the BN government are not retained and embedded in the system.
Suaram therefore reiterates the call for the creation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to investigate any police misconduct.
Pending the introduction of a new law to establish IPCMC, the government should establish a committee under the Home Ministry to begin immediate review into police conduct and ensure that the violation of human rights by the Royal Malaysian Police be relegated to a thing of the past.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.