How well can we police the police?


As enforcers of the law, the police are imbued with considerable power – but this is power that is wide open for abuse. As cases of police brutality and deaths in custody pile up in Malaysia (Suaram recorded 12 deaths in custody in 2013 as of July 18), calls for police oversight in the form of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) have been reinvigorated. The current Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) is largely criticised as a toothless tiger.

Life before the Oversight Commissions

Police oversight is not exactly a new concept. Article 140 (1) of the Constitution clearly stipulates that:

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