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Monday, June 26, 2006

IPCMC - Better late than never

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Image hosting by PhotobucketNot the actual police Walski had in mind, but the caption on the image hits the issue between the eyes.

The image, by the way, is the poster for Stewart Copeland's behind the scenes documentary about one of Walski's all-time favorite bands. Click on it to find out more.

The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is once again the talking point in some political circles. And everyone is watching (apart from the FIFA World Cup Finals Deutchland 2006, that is). The deadline for setting it up was supposed to have been May 31, 2006.

Most of the stuff here is not really breaking news, but Walski thought that it would be good to keep this fresh in everyone's minds, due to its importance.

While most of Malaysia is all for the setting up of this commission, certain parties with vested interest are dead-set against it. Including, of course, the Royal Malaysia Police themselves. Earlier this month, an internal Police memo inadvertently got onto its public website. This was reported by the Grand-master of the Malaysian Blogsphere, Jeff Ooi. The webpage has since been taken down, but you can, if you so desire, view a PDF version of the webpage.

And who else is against the setting up of this commission? UMNO Youth, for one. They were the only conspicuously missing piece in the BN Youth front protesting against the threatening nature of the internal memo.

One of the threats made in the memo is to revoke support to BN (namely UMNO) in ensuring they remain in power, and for the police to vote for the opposition... Of course, UMNO would not be in support of IPMC. Kinda tells you how screwy and scary Malaysian politics is, doesn't it? UMNO's refusal is also a slap on the face of our PM, Pak Lah, who has publicly given his full support for the formation of the IPCMC.

The latest development, announced by the Prime Minister in parliament today, is that the Attorney General's Chambers is in the process of wrapping up a study on the setting up of this commission. So now, the nation waits. Will the IPCMC be per what the Royal Commission's recommendations? Or will it be a watered-down, UMNO Youth-friendly, toothless commission, similar to other so-called independent watchdog bodies (ICA, Suhakam, etc.)?

And why is the IPCMC good for Malaysia? (more in the full post)

The IPCMC will act as a watchdog body to monitor complaints against police misconduct, and to ensure that the police operate within the bounds of the law. Contrary to popular belief, the police are not the law, nor are they above it.

Recent police misconduct cases include Squatgate, Chinese New Year Botakgate, various harassment cases (like this one), and of course, Goatgate (a.k.a. the New Year's Eve Black Metal raid on Paul's Place), the one that is dear to Walski's heart, as it affected a number of fellow musicians.

All told, the IPMC is actually good for the police force - for one thing, it will restore the public's confidence that the police is out there in the public's interest, and not as a menace to society.

IPMC - ensuring Polis Diraja Malayasia, not Polis Raja Di Malaysia