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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Scrap Special Complaints Commission (SCC or fake IPCMC)

A Facebook group Scrap Special Complaints Commission (SCC or "fake IPCMC)

I posted a message in the Discussions of fast growing Facebook group Deny Barisan National A 2/3 Majority in the Upcoming Election! hoping to get members to join the first group, and this was the response from one member:

"I really wish you can answer the 6 questions, please note I'm NOT asking Lim Guan Eng's perspective, as the creator of "scrap SCC", you MUST be able to answer them at any time, because the answer should be on your finger tip. If not, how do you expect other to relate to your cause."

Now my response to his response:

OK,

From own ears and mouth plus MEMORY:

There are many concerned Malaysians demanding a special body be set up to handle complaints against Police some of whom (this is from mouth of lawyers who deal with those detained) have been accused of abuse, physical plus verbal, of those detained. You must have also heard complaints of corruption or maybe even came across it before. It is of great importance that public have confidence in the Police and therefore one more objective is to help clear those Police wrongly accused. That was how the pressure groups got the government to set up the Royal Commission to study this matter. All very noble.

Again from the mouth of one of the member of the Royal Commission, they took their sacred duties very seriously, traveled all over the places, did a lot of hard work, and finally came up with a very comprehensive report with, if I remember correctly, 100 plus recommendations, some very crucial. They recommended setting up of the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.)

The Executive (Cabinet headed by Prime Minister) sat on the report for years, then out of the blues, a bill was hastily tabled in the Parliament to set up the Special Complaints Commission (SCC) instead the IPCMC (more about this later), and this, with election just around the corner. 3 members of the Royal Commission came out in public to voice their utter disgust. Tunku Aziz described the SCC as in insult and a slap in the face. He said the most crucial recommendations had been left out, one of which is that no serving or retired Police should be appointed to the IPCMC. Now this is from my ears direct from a former member of Royal Commission, but from memory as I am not a trained journalist or reporter. You know who are supposed to sit in the SCC (or fake IPCMC)? The IGP (Inspector General of Police) and the head honcho of the ACA (Anti Corruption Agency). This means we are going to get a Commission to deal with its own misdeed, if any. Now if there is any basis for complaints against the IGP, anybody wants to bring that to the attention of the SCC on which the IGP himself sits in? Can someone be expected to "police" himself or those belonging to his own agency?

One more thing, again direct from mouth of the Chairman of the Malaysia Bar Human Rights committee (Malaysia Bar is the body to which all practicing lawyers must be members), Edmund Bon, described the SCC as a post box. What it does is to receive complaints, study it, and then forward it to whatever department they consider relevant to further act on it. The SCC has no power. It just add another layer of bureaucracy plus extra time and cost, and actually does not do much, but act as a "post box" to which "mails" are sent and redirected (now I think a more accurate description would be a "telephone exchange" or the "Post Office sorting room"). Now will the SCC do what the pressure groups wants done? To control abuse and corruption within the Police plus clear Police who genuinely had been wrongly accused so that the public will have confidence in our police?

Now back to what I said I will leave till later. As many of you knows, Haris Ibrahim, Human Rights lawyer, set up the People's Parliament. Objectives: To get MPs that really represent the interest of their Constituents, not the Executive, plus to get to know your MP (or what I would put more accurately, the likely candidates for your Constituent) so that when you vote, you vote with eyes opened. As part of that. I interviewed the current MP of my Constituent. My first question: "How can a Barisan MP represent their Constituent when they are under the whip ALL THE TIME?" To put it in layman's term, the Barisan MPs are obliged to vote FOR ALL proposals from the Executive and the ruling Barisan in Parliament, and AGAINST ALL proposals from the oppositions, IRRESPECTIVE OF MERITS, IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR CONSCIENCE (what they should feel is right or wrong).

Cleaver reply: "All proposals must go through a long process of consultations before they are tabled at the Parliament. The Cabinet members are consulted, the NGOs, the stakeholders, etc. (unfortunately I did not hear the word "voter"). When this proposal to amend the Constituent to extend the retirement age of the Chairman of the Election Commission (current chairman Rashid whose term had recently been extended because the amendment was successfully passed in Parliament whose photo was torn, crumbled and threw into a rubbish bin in from of the press) was hurriedly tabled at the Parliament, I requested for an urgent appointment, kindly granted. I asked: "In this case, did the consultations take place, if so, how long and who or which NGO were consulted?"

Another clever answer: "When I told you about long consultations, I was only referring to MY Ministry".

So obviously from that answer plus the 2 bills tabled in a hurry - bill to amend the Constituent to extend retirement age of Chairman of Election Commission plus bill to set up SCC, obviously did not go through any real consultation process before being tabled in the Parliament because a lot of people who should know were caught by surprise.

Forgot to add, there is another similar Facebook group who must have a creator or creators who have more time and resources than me:

Malaysian for IPCMC

Hope you will join both, the above more active one, and hopefully the one below too:

Scrap Special Complaints Commission (SCC) campaign

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