17 years on, we're still haunted by the promise of an IPCMC

After 17 years since a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) recommended the setting up of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), it is no closer to becoming a reality.

The closest it came to fruition was when the Pakatan Harapan government tabled the IPCMC bill in 2019 but due to criticism about a lack of consultation, the bill was deferred for review by a parliamentary select committee (PSC).

That also marked the death of the bill as the then government never got to implementing the PSC's recommendations. The Harapan administration collapsed in February 2020.

Its successor, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, lacking the political will to address the issue of police accountability at the expense of an important vote bank, drastically watered down the IPCMC with its own Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill.

Then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin tabled the IPCC Bill in the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 26, 2020.

He has since been ousted but Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who largely retained his predecessor's cabinet, is determined to keep the watered-down version.

Critics have been quick to respond, pointing out that the new proposed commission does not meet the recommendations made by the RCI on the police force back in 2005.

They also expressed concern over its perceived lack of independence and weakened powers.

Whatever the case, this move by the new government is the latest in the IPCMC saga which has spanned 17 years, four governments, five prime ministers, seven inspectors-general of police and four name changes.

Malaysiakini revisits the long, troubled history of the IPCMC...

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