Monday, May 29, 2006


Yesterday's misadventure by the police when it 'belasah-ed' unarmed and peaceful Malaysians should be considered as a turning point in our relationship with the 'guardians' of the law(!).

All this while it has been the government that has been in control of them. It is time that we took the initiative and put them firmly where they belong - in their barracks and stations taking their orders from their legitimate bosses i.e. the public. That can only be realized if the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission(IPCMC) proposal of the Royal Police Commission is implemented quickly. The government has been dragging it's feet for too long and yesterday's incident has sort of placed it in a tight spot. The cops have done the government's dirty job of crushing the demonstration and are now in a way beholden to them; you scratch my back, I scratch yours, savvy?

A cursory look at the police website tells all - IPCMC : WHY WE DON’T NEED IT, screams one headline. And the cops have actually given reasons, ten to be exact, in not very 'accurate' English but the message is clear; No way Jose. Forget it. IPCMC is for the birds. Go stuff it.

The Sepuluh 'Dalils':
1)Lost of powers by politicians (sic). The cops are soooo worried that their beloved political masters may inadvertently hand over power to the Commissioners who might actually do something. I've yet to hear of politicians unknowingly hand over anything let alone power!

2)Police Force Commission or IPCMC? A choice. The police argument is, 'It is untenable that an organ created by an Act of parliament usurping the function if(sic) a body which is a creature of the Constitution. There will be complication as well since the IPCMC has no power to hire but endowed with right to fire. Unconstitutional'. (So give them the power to hire as well!)

3)No clear, urgent and pressing need. So there you have it; the cops see no urgency at all! 'Hey we're having a good time mate, so just leave us alone will you'?

4)Against the Federal Constitution. Certain provisions of the Bill may offend Article 4 and 7, may breach Article 8, 135, 140 and 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution, they say. (If you guys had followed the constitution in the first place you won't be in this mess!).

5)Against the Rule of Law. (Look who's talking!)

6)Breach of Natural Justice. (Tell that to the demonstrators you brutalized yesterday.)

7)Discriminatory : Equality under the law and equal protection before the law. (I'm getting a little confused here. Are they talking about us or them?)

8) Ouster Clause : A Denial of Justice. (Ha Ha! This gets funnier by the minute.)

9)The environment is not right yet. ( Yup! the environment, timing, planetary positions etc. are all not right. Should be AOK by tahun 3030.)

10)Compromising Command of IGP. (To me this is the only one that makes sense. Fair enough. The IGP is and should be numero uno. However he still has to take his orders from a 'non-policeman', right?)

Conclusion: It is imperative that in a true and vibrant democracy the police force should be subservient to civilian authority. Let there be no compromise on that. Allowing the cops to either flex their muscles vis a vis the government, indulge in politicking or show signs of active insubordination is the beginning of the breakdown of political control over an essentially
civilian regulated security apparatus. Any political reluctance now and the effects will be felt for decades.


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