Wednesday, June 12, 2013
DAP’s Tony Pua said today that he would be “the first to praise the government” if police officers found guilty of misconduct were punished.
The DAP publicity chief was responding to Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) chair Datuk Heliliah Mohd Yusof, who questioned yesterday if federal opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would “praise any government body despite it being set up with heartfelt sincerity”.
“Let me declare upfront that I will be the first to praise the government if the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is set up and brings to book all who are guilty of misconduct,” said Pua in a statement today.
“However, I’d like to ask the chairperson of EAIC if she actually thinks that the commission has delivered anywhere remotely close to what was promised?” added the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.
Pua pointed out that the EAIC ― which investigates complaints of abuse of power in the police force and 18 other enforcement agencies ― has only recommended one disciplinary action and two warnings to civil servants since its inception in 2011.
EAIC chief executive Nor Afizah Hanum Mokhtar told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview that the commission had recommended a demotion against a police officer mid last-year for closing a case after three days, but admitted that she was unsure if the police had carried out the recommendation.
“The fact that the government isn’t serious, with only one investigating officer today to ‘look after’ 19 government agencies is proof of the intent for the entire exercise to fail,” said Pua.
“Hence the opposition’s ‘criticisms’ of the EAIC are entirely valid and should not be summarily dismissed by the EAIC as the chairperson did. In fact, I would challenge the former Court of Appeal Judge, Datuk Heliliah to state unequivocally if the EAIC has actually served its purpose and has successfully met its founding objectives,” he added.
Heliliah pointed out yesterday that the EAIC’s counterpart, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), has also come under fire from Australian opposition MPs.
Pua, however, noted that even former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad had questioned the effectiveness of the EAIC that only began its maiden investigation on two deaths in custody cases this year, despite the spate of custodial deaths over the past few years.
The opposition lawmaker also challenged minister Datuk Paul Low to incorporate into EAIC the recommendations made by the 2005 royal commission of inquiry (RCI) for the proposed IPCMC if “IPCMC and EAIC are only names”.
“The EAIC was emasculated to become essentially a ‘post-office’ to refer cases back to the affected institution’s own disciplinary panels and committees, without any power to enforce punishment or recommendations on the guilty enforcement parties,” said Pua.