While most developed countries are moving towards democratic policing to enhance police accountability and community-based policing doctrines, the practices and culture of the Royal Malaysian Police often reveal the trademarks of a regime police – a police that answers to the government in power.
Nine years have passed since the release of the landmark 2005 Dzaiddin Royal Commission Report and its 125 recommendations for police reforms, including the failed attempt to introduce the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). However, meaningful reforms and any desirable outcomes are noticeably lacking.
Just recently, the legitimacy of a state government was undermined when, despite police presence, a handful of pro-Umno supporters still managed to trespass into the Penang State Legislative Assembly during a protest, further questioning the capability of the police in preserving a healthy federalism – and parliamentarism – in Malaysia.
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