KUALA LUMPUR : Senator Datuk Paul Low clarified today that he had not likened the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) in its current set-up to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as alluded to by DAP MP Tony Pua.
Instead, the minister for integrity and corruption said he had pointed to the weaknesses in the EAIC and said the Cabinet had agreed it needed an extensive revamp and a broadening of its powers by possibly adopting some recommendations from the 2005 IPCMC proposal.
His comparison between the names EAIC and IPCMC, Low said, was merely to point out that the name of the authority was immaterial but its effectiveness must be of utmost importance.
â€œI would like to express my grave disappointment at how my words have been blatantly misrepresented for reasons best known only to Mr Tony Pua himself,â€ Low said in a statement here.
Earlier today The Malaysian Insider reported a statement from Pua in which the Petaling Jaya Utara MP criticised remarks made by Low yesterday over the IPCMC debacle.
Low said that the Cabinet, following its meeting last week, had â€œmore or lessâ€ concluded and it was better to overhaul the EAIC and widen its jurisdiction instead of setting up a new IPCMC from scratch.
In his statement, Low had said that getting a new commission up and running would involve too much time.
â€œ...IPCMC and EAIC are only names, and what really matters is that we arrive at an independent agency that has the resources, clout and scope of influence to do the job effectively, now that the weaknesses of the existing EAIC had been more or less identified,â€ the minister had said.
Responding, Pua said Low was â€œsorely mistakenâ€ in saying the difference between the two was merely in their names, insisting the EAIC was only set up in 2011 to placate widespread demands for the IPCMC.
â€œThis was not my meaning at all!â€ Low replied this evening.
â€œClearly, even a teenager would be able to conclude that my intention was never to equate the EAIC in its current form to that of the IPCMC proposed by the RCI in 2005,â€ he added.
The IPCMC was mooted by the 2005 royal commission of inquiry (RCI) chaired by former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah but was later shot down by the police.
Low told Pua to reread his statement carefully, pointing out that he said he would even consider inviting other parties like the Bar Council and foreign professionals to contribute to the governmentâ€™s effort to check its enforcement agencies.
â€œIn fact, the PM and members of his Cabinet are fully aware of the weaknesses with the EAIC in its current state, and are all behind me to conduct a thorough study and consultation with concerned parties to put together a detailed proposal to beef up the EAIC, even by possibly readopting some of the RCIâ€™s earlier proposals,â€ he said.
The end purpose, Low added, was to ensure the commission is effective and independent, with the right people, tools and scope of influence to regulate not only the police but other enforcement agencies where abuse cases may arise.
â€œI fail to see how much clearer I can make it understood that my team and I are doing our level best to come up with a long-term solution that will meet this pressing and very real need, which the rakyat are also crying out for,â€ he said.
â€œIn fact, we are pushing for one that will not only be effective, but also empowered to investigate other enforcement agencies as well - where the needs are also real and pressing.
â€œWhether the name remains â€˜EAICâ€™ at the end of the dayâ€¦ â€˜EAICCâ€™, â€˜PEAICâ€™, etcâ€¦ does it really matter?â€ he asked.
The former Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president later repeated his invitation to all parties to aid him and his team in working out the best solution to the ongoing debacle over police abuses and other matters concerning integrity in the government.
â€œ... if you could lend me and my team a helping hand, or evenâ€¦ just more constructive, well thought out suggestionsâ€¦ it would make the job we are trying to do for you a lot easier,â€ he said.
The recent spate of custodial deaths - nine over the past five months so far - revived calls for the establishment of the IPCMC and in response, Low raised the proposal to Cabinet during its meeting last Wednesday.
The Malaysian Bar, civil society groups and several politicians from both sides of the divide have been calling for the IPCMCâ€™s implementation since 2006 but to no avail.
In the latest tragedy behind bars, Nobuhiro Matsushita, 33, was found dead at 4am on Saturday in his cell at the USJ8 police station lock-up in Subang Jaya.
Police said the Japanese man, who was arrested for whipping out a knife at an auxiliary policeman after trespassing into a university on June 2, was found hanged in his cell, presumably at his own hands.
In another recent controversial case, a government hospital autopsy report revealed that 32-year-old detainee N. Dharmendran had died as a result of multiple beatings while in police custody.
On Wednesday, three of the four police officers who allegedly caused Dhamendranâ€™s death were charged with murder under section 302 of the Penal Code. A fourth accused is still at large.
Sumber : Malaysian Digest