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With 18% to 42% police salary increases, IGP should publicly support IPCMC Bill for passage by Parliament next month  to demonstrate commitment to have a world-class police service, whether in reducing crime, professionalism, accountability or integrity


Media Statement      
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Friday) : One of my first reactions when I received news in Tokyo on Monday of the Prime Minister’s announcement of pay rise and doubling of cost of living allowances for the civil service - and in particular the 18% to 42% in the basic salary increase for the police - is whether the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill will at last be presented to Parliament next month for passage to demonstrate government commitment to have a world-class police service, whether in reducing crime,  professionalism, accountability or integrity.

I had given my full support both in Parliament and outside for a generous increase in police pay as Malaysians want to have a world-class police service which is professional, accountable, incorruptible and efficient in reducing crime to restore to Malaysians their fundamental citizenship right to be free from crime and the fear of crime in the streets, public places and the privacy of their homes.

The reaction of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan to the “generous pay increase” has been quite euphoric, as illustrated by the headlines: “IGP: No more bribes, no more excuses” (The Sun), IGP: No excuse for cops to take bribes now” (The Star) and “Musa: No leeway for corrupt cops” (New Straits Times). 

Although the expression of Musa’s euphoric reaction is quite deplorable, as it is self-exculpatory in justifying the erstwhile police notoriety as one of the most corrupt government departments, let’s not quibble over the past but look forward to a clean, new and corruption-free future for the police service from now. 

Malaysians have heard of many past announcements of “new dawns” for a professional world-class police service to keep crime low but they have all  proved to be mirages. Examples of such past illusions include: 

  • When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister on Oct. 31, 2003, he pledged that one of his top priorities would be to reduce crime, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of homes. Today, Malaysians feel even more unsafe from crime than when Abdullah became Prime Minister.
  • Abdullah had raised great hopes about his commitment to create an efficient, incorruptible, human rights-sensitive world-class police service when he set up the Royal Police Commission which came out with 125 recommendations. However the Royal Police Commission recommendations quickly became a “lame-duck” Report when the most important recommendation, the establishment of IPCMC, became a “political football” with the police lobby successfully arm-twisting Umno MPs and got it dispatched to cold-storage at  the Attorney-General’s Chambers when the IPCMC should have been set up and operational more than a year ago!
  • At the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Malaysian Police in March, IGP Musa announced that the police is being rebranded with a new vision and mission in line with the recommendations of the Royal Police Commission. Coincidentally, Suhakam inquiry findings that excessive police force was used against protesters at the KLCC demo on May 28, 2005 on petrol and power price hikes had just been made public. To date, the thunderous silence on the part of the police as to whether  disciplinary action would be taken against the errant police personnel in accordance with the Suhakam inquiry findings remained unbroken.
  • Last month, Abdullah promised Malaysians that there would be no compromise in an all-out war against crime – but what Malaysians have got is “no compromise” in rhetoric but not real action against crime.

The message Malaysians want to send to the Police, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet after the RM8 billion pay hikes is: “No more government inefficiencies, no more IPCMC sabotage, no more mirages”. 

Although the position of the IGP and the top police leadership have changed from the previous one of open and active opposition to the IPCMC proposal – which was a defiant act of insubordination in its an open revolt against the elected government - to one of accepting whatever policy decision of the political leadership, this is most inadequate and unsatisfactory. 

With the 18% to 42% police salary increases, IGP Musa should provide leadership and end his ambivalent and non-commital attitude towards the IPCMC proposal by coming out in strong support for the IPCMC Bill to be presented to Parliament for debate and passage next month to demonstrate police support of the key proposal of the Royal Police Commission to have a world-class police service, whether in performance, professionalism, accountability or integrity. 

Continued abdication of responsibility on the part of the IGP from giving open and active support to the IPCMC proposal can only raise questions among Malaysians whether the police force is capable of giving a commensurate reciprocity to the 18% to 42% increases in police salary revision. 

When the Cabinet could find time in its last two meetings to put the Manchester United friendly match in July on its agenda, it is totally inexcusable if Cabinet Ministers could not find time to give top priority at its next Cabinet meeting to accord full approval for the establishment of the IPCMC and to present the IPCMC  Bill to Parliament next month for debate, enactment and establishment. 

In the next three weeks till the resumption of Parliament on June 18, opinion leaders, NGOs and the civil society should make their concerns and demands heard loud and clear for the immediate establishment of the IPCMC.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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