Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Establish state level IPCMCs

With the reoccurrence of civilian death in police custody recently, we would not know how many more will happen again in future and the refusal of the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government to commence with the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) bill in the parliament but to only proceed with an ineffective Special Complaints Commission (SCC) bill instead, we want to repeat our urge to the Pakatan Rakyat led state governments in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan to establish the state level IPCMCs in their respective states.

We are very certain that, in the states’ constitution that governs the state administrative structure and the legislative proceedings, these state governments are entitle to establish a commission to investigate, service and to serve the public interest. We call it a state service commission. If the respective state governments can review their powers as mentioned in their state constitutions, we believe that the formation of the state level IPCMC could be carried out soonest without any interference or any judicial review.

If in event such measures contravenes with the federal constitution because the police force are under the federal jurisdiction, then the respective state legal panels should sit down and review an alternative approach like, forming a smaller entity called the State Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Committee (State IPCMC) or a State Legislative Committee on Police Watch and so on. There are numerous more approach and alternatives instead of merely instituting the IPCMC.

The State IPCMCs if materialize, should include appointees from the public, community leaders, non-governmental organizations, consumer associations, business leaders, state assemblymen and members of parliament. Besides, prominent persons with proven track records in public administration and all parts of communities should also be included in this organization in order to demonstrate its transparency and competency with the people and the general public entirely.

Therfore, we would like to urge the Pakatan Rakyat states to initiate the formation of the State IPCMCs first as soon as possible. The parliament is still dominated by the BN members, and there’s no way we could insist for the actual IPCMC bill to the end, unless there are BN MPs who are willing to lend their support to Pakatan Rakyat MPs. The problem is, will the BN whip ever allow this to happen?

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