Source: IPCMC Bill to be delayed again

Radzi Razak And Danial Dzulkifly
Royal Malaysia Police personnel march during a National Day rehearsal in Putrajaya August 29, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill will not be tabled today as Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties have not reached a consensus, according to a source.

A source in Parliament told Malay Mail that there was disagreement within the ruling coalition and some backbenchers could withhold support if it is tabled for its second reading today.

“It is off the table (for now),” said the source who requested anonymity.

Later, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Kong read out a motion to withhold the Bill until the next meeting of Parliament in March 2020.

The Opposition previously urged the government to withdraw the Bill but some among them criticised Liew today for being unprepared to proceed with the matter.

In a press conference after his motion was accepted, Liew denied the delay was due to a lack of consensus within PH.

He also dismissed any risk of backbenchers withholding support, saying they were obliged to support it

“This Bill is from the government so government lawmakers must support such is the concept of collective responsibility.

“If they don’t, then the Chief Whip can take action,” he said, referring to party administrators responsible for enforcing discipline within a political party or coalition.

Liew pledged that the Bill would proceed in March after further consultation with relevant parties.

Chairman of Special Select Committee for Consideration of Bills Ramkarpal Singh said he was only informed of the delay this morning.

Ramkarpal said the delay could mean that the government needed to conduct further consultations.

Federal Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said his bloc remains fundamentally opposed to the commission.

He claimed it would demoralise the police and was unconstitutional.

“We hope that the government not only delay it but to cancel the IPCMC Bill entirely

“There are many other instruments that can be used to monitor the police,” he said.

The IPCMC provides for civilian oversight of the police force and was the headline recommendation of the 2005 royal commission of inquiry on the force.

The Bill was tabled for its first reading during the July meeting of Parliament but its second reading in the current meeting was delayed to allow a parliamentary select committee time to gather more feedback.

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