By HARIATI AZIZAN
Sunday May 6, 2012
The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) was set up in April last year without fanfare under retired Federal Court judge Datuk Helilah Mohd Yusof with six fellow commissioners and a team of 26 to “enforce the law on enforcers”.
The EAIC, which is a statutory body, has purview over 19 enforcement agencies, including the Police, Immigration, Customs and Rela.
Calling on people with grievances to step forward, Helilah assured: “The identity of complainants will be protected and kept confidential. We also have legal provision to act against those who threaten, injure or blacklist complainants who give evidence to the EAIC.”
Section 44 of the EAIC Act 2009 states that anyone who threatens, insults or injures a person for giving evidence to the commission faces a jail term of up to two years and a maximum fine of RM100,000.
Helilah said the EAIC also has the power to penalise accused officers who refuse to attend its hearing.
Referring to the Bersih rally last week, Helilah said that people with a genuine grouse on police misconduct should come forward to file a complaint with the commission.
“We can then start the ball rolling to probe their allegations,” she said, adding that bodies like the Bar Council may also lodge a complaint with the commission.
Helilah, however, stressed that the complainants must have concrete grounds for their grouses and be willing to follow the investigations through.
“We need complainants to write in and disclose their full particulars, details of the incident and supporting facts and evidence,” she said.
“The commission will act on complaints with full responsibility and integrity. We will conduct a thorough investigation into each complaint and reports will be forwarded to the relevant authorities for action.”
She told the public: “If you are serious enough about any misconduct by any enforcement officer, you need to bring it to our attention instead of just whining and ranting about it.
“Also, do not let fear of delay or conflict of interest hold you from reporting to the commission. Genuine complaints will be probed immediately.”
The EAIC was legislated from a recommendation by a royal commission for an independent tribunal on the police in 2005. However, objections to the proposal saw the drafting of the EAIC Act, which gave the body a wider purview.