KUALA LUMPUR: Calls for the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconducts Commission (IPCMC) by politicians and community leaders has intensified, following an exposure of what appears to be a cover-up by the Pahang police disciplinary board.
Yesterday, The Malay Mail revealed in its cover story how the board had tried two Rompin policemen, who had earlier confessed to taking about 40kg of syabu (methamphetamine), for supposedly taking cigarettes instead and letting the duo off with a light sentence.
It was also exposed how the duo had a year later received promotions as well as government accolades, in spite of their involvement in the drug bust scandal where at least nine Rompin cops confessed to taking 40kg out of 750kg of syabu during a major drug seizure.
Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul told The Paper That Cares it was time the government formed the IPCMC as it was apparent in-house investigations had limitations.
“It is high time the police allow independent investigations on police misconduct. Probes conducted in-house will never really expose the whole truth because there are 'interests' to protect.
"It’s not easy for you to prosecute your own colleague or your own friend.”
The MP from PKR said the authorities should not see the introduction of IPCMC as a deterrent to their line of work but rather as a positive move.
“It is important if the police want to instill public confidence towards the force. With what has happened in Rompin, how am I going to fully trust the police from now on?”
Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail concurred that IPCMC needed to be introduced to regain the public’s trust for the police. “The government must realise they need to do this to regain the public’s confidence.
“What happened in Rompin is a major tarnish on the overall image of the police,” said the Pahang MP from PKR when met at Parliament yesterday.
“This is the work of a few rotten apples. You can’t say the whole police force in Pahang is bad. Yet, the work of this few will give a bad name for the entire force.”
Azan said the cops’ willingness to partake in the crime was a display of desperation.
“That the policemen are desperate and willing to get involved in such a shameful act shows how they are underpaid and pressured to increase their living standards.”
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, a member of the Royal Commission said: "It was something the public needed but it was shot down by the police before. I hope the new IGP will reconsider the motion."
Community leader Tan Sri Robert Phang said: “It is high time the IPCMC is set up. If the police are serious about rebuilding their image, this is the right way and it will be good for the morale of the force, too."
In its 2005 report, the Royal Commission said internal mechanisms currently governed by the police themselves were inadequate, unreliable and frequently ineffective.
The commission also proposed to introduce a more reliable mechanism to address complaints made against the police, to improve much-needed public confidence in the policing system and to make the force more accountable to the public at large.
The setting up of the IPCMC was one of 125 recommendations contained in the report to enhance the operations and management of the police.