Kuala Lumpur, 4 November 2016 – The Royal Malaysia Police has been criticised by various sections of society and at time these criticisms are unfair. Decentralisation of powers can help reduce these criticisms, says the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). Commenting on the issue, IDEAS Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said, “Today we released a study on the IGP’s powers, titled ‘ Strengthening the Royal Malaysia Police by Enhancing Accountability‘. The study describes the laws and institutional design that gives the IGP his powers and makes recommendations on how we can ensure the public supports the IGP in the exercise of his powers through decentralising some of the powers.”
“Decentralisation, or the practice of empowering those who are lower in the power structure, is commonplace in most developed countries. Most institutions that decentralise enjoy higher levels of public confidence, simply because the people are not as worried about one person having too much power,” added Wan Saiful.
“Our study showcases the breadth and range of powers available to the IGP. This includes his role in overseeing 153,122 police officers and his jurisdiction over all police-related matters from traffic enforcement to anti-terrorism. We also highlight laws that consolidate the IGP’s powers including the Sedition Act 1948 and now the National Security Council Act 2016” , explained Wan Saiful.
“It is natural for the public to be concerned over these extensive powers especially when you consider the IGP’s powers to do so many things. We need to remove the unnecessary doubts and this can be achieved if the IGP delegates some of those powers and responsibilities.”
“In our paper, we repeated the call to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by former Chief Justice Tun Dzaiddin Abdullah in 2005. The IPCMC is particularly important because Malaysian society today demands more public scrutiny and greater accountability including from the police”.
“We have submitted this paper to the IGP before releasing it to the public. We will soon send it to the Ministry of Home Affairs. We will continue engaging with both.” concluded Wan Saiful Wan Jan.