The Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (Caged) group has called on MPs to reject the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill and asked de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong to redraft it.
Caged spokesperson Rama Ramanathan (above) said in a statement today that in its current form, the bill would create a "toothless, limbless tiger".
"An IPCMC is included in Promise 20 of Buku Harapan (Book of Hope), the GE14 manifesto which attracted voters to choose Pakatan Harapan," he reminded lawmakers, but said that the bill, which it expects to be tabled when Parliament resumes tomorrow, falls far short of an earlier proposal made in 2005.
"This is because it is modelled on the EAIC (Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission), which even the government agrees is a failed institution.
"If the EAIC is a toothless tiger, Monday’s IPCMC is a toothless, limbless tiger, since it has even less investigative powers than the EAIC," he said.
Rama noted that Liew had invited and collected Caged's feedback, but had yet to extended his group a copy of the proposed legislation.
He cited a number of reasons why Caged is calling on MPs to request the minister to redraft the bill.
"The bill should be modelled on the MACC, an institution which, under the right leadership, has proven effective. There is a massive difference between the MACC and EAIC commissioners.
"MACC commissioners have police ranks and are 'always on duty'. EAIC commissioners are mere laypersons. MACC commissioners strike fear, EAIC commissioners do not," he said.
Rama also said the bill should not be restricted to complaints of misconduct and highlighted the absence of a definition of a complaint.
"The bill should also mandate that the police cannot investigate deaths and grievous injuries which may have been caused by police actions. Police shootings and deaths in police custody must be investigated by the IPCMC," he said.
He also called on the government to release relevant data to enable MPs and the public to assess whether the bill will aid police reform.
"The Home Ministry should release data on complaints the police received since 2005 and their effectiveness in resolving them.
"Restoring the severely damaged reputation of the Malaysian police is a national priority and an independent police commission is essential," said Rama.