Kit Siang renews call for IPCMC after Siti Kasim's 'wrongful' arrest
MalaysiaKini June 25, 2018
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has reiterated calls for the government to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) following the arrest of lawyer Siti Kasim based on a police report involving her 24-year-old client Anis Izzatty Ruslan. In a statement, the Iskandar Puteri MP said Siti's "wrongful arrest and police abuse of powers" have catapulted the issue of IPCMC to the forefront of the agenda for institutional reforms under the new Pakatan Harapan government. "Malaysians are not interested in any police-bashing as the police play a vital and essential role in any ordered and civilised society. "What they want is to institutionalise two fundamental rights which should be enjoyed by all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, rank or socio-economic status," said Lim. He argued that setting-up an IPCMC would assure the public that their rights to live, work and play in a crime-free, safe and secure environment would be guaranteed. This was on top of their fundamental rights to overall greater police efficiency, accountability, transparency and meaningful public consultation to reduce crime and the fear of crime, Lim said. "The people want an effective and efficient police force and will co-operate with the police to make the streets, public spaces and homes safe. "This is why the proposed IPCMC is important," he stressed. Lim also claimed that the country has now regressed to a period before the establishment of the Police Royal Commission headed by former chief justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2004, when public confidence in the police was at an all-time low with widespread complaints about police corruption, brutalities and indiscipline, which resulted in many custodial death cases. "What the policymakers and the police leadership failed to do more than a decade to set up the IPCMC must be remedied now, so that Malaysia will have a world-class police force," said Lim who noted that the existing Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission had failed to be an effective check to incidents of police misconduct. Therefore, Lim urged the government, the IPCMC should be prioritised in its list of institutional reforms to be presented during the first meeting of Parliament next month. Siti was arrested early yesterday morning for alleged obstruction after police broke into her home to "rescue" her client who had been taking shelter there. The police report was lodged by her client's mother. Siti's client had denied the contents of the police report, claiming that she had to deal with an overly-controlling mother and had sought refuge at the lawyer's home. Siti was released yesterday, after the Kajang Magistrate's Court dismissed the police's application for a four-day remand order against her.