PUTRAJAYA — The government will rebrand the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and replace it with the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
This would ensure a more comprehensive body to monitor the police force.
“There are many complaints about the police and we will try to clean up the police force and ensure the policemen get good treatment and, at the same time, they should ensure that they themselves are clean,” Dr Mahathir said.
The Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, in its report published in 2005, had recommended the establishment of an independent police complaints and misconduct commission.
It would function as an external oversight body to probe complaints against police personnel.
“Since then, many civil bodies including the Bar Council have called for the setting up of IPCMC,” Dr Mahathir said at a press conference following a Cabinet special committee meeting on anti-corruption here yesterday.
Seven papers were presented during the meeting, focused on boosting the country’s image in terms of governance, human rights, integrity and anti-corruption.
Dr Mahathir also said the Public Complaints Bureau will be transformed into the Malaysian Ombudsman, adding it will require a special Ombudsman Act to be tabled.
“We will likely table or at least discuss the Ombudsman Act during the next parliamentary session,” he said.
He said an ombudsman would greatly assist the management of public complaints and be independent of the agency or ministry in which it monitors.
“It is difficult to find people with integrity to serve in the ombudsman but we will find them,” he said when asked who would be best suited to lead the ombudsman.
Dr Mahathir said the Malaysian Integrity Institute — which has been placed under the National Governance, Integrity, and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) — will now function along a new model.
“The model will enable the institute to work at building the competency of both government and corporate agencies,” he said.
The Integrity and Good Governance Department will be absorbed into the GIACC.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Gerald Joseph said the ombudsman would help reform the civil service.
“We welcome this independent oversight system and hope it can be done the soonest,” he told Malay Mail.
Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel told Malay Mail recently an ombudsman would be an invaluable asset to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission by helping it to hone in on fraud or corruption cases.
As the role is filled by someone of influence and experience, such as a retired judge, this meant the individual is free from political influences.
“What differs an ombudsman from the MACC is that they have the power to look at the risk factors of a certain organisation, and whether its compliance mechanisms are being properly followed,” she said.
“The system is such that it can publish its own reports on its findings.”
She said similar models are used in other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand.