Rival protests: One group favours IPCMC, another Saifuddin’s and Thomas’ resignations

08 Apr 2019 / 18:59 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Two groups organised protests outside Parliament today, with one group calling for the government to establish the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCMC), while the other sought the resignations of Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas for purportedly misleading the Malay Rulers.

The first group marched from Padang Merbok to Parliament holding placards demanding the setting up of the IPCMC, following the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) recent findings over the enforced disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.

The group, including family members of those who had died in police custody, were joined by Pakatan Harapan MPs.

Ten members of the group were escorted into Parliament by the PH MPs to present their memorandum and meet with members of the Parliamentary Caucus on Reform and Good Governance.

The group was led by Gabungan Tuntut IPCMC chairman M. Visvanathan, who told reporters that the setting up of this independent body was part of PH manifesto from the last general election.

“The call of IPCMC is not new as the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2005 had called for such a body in its report,” he said.

“But until now nothing had happened due to protest from the police force. If the IPCMC was set up it is very likely that abuses of power by the police would stop and deaths in police custody would cease.”

Visvanathan presented the memorandum to Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister R. Sivarasa, who received it on behalf of the government and who promised to forward it to Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the government had promised to set up the IPCMC but the recent Suhakam report showed that such a body is needed urgently to investigate such claims.

The second group that gathered outside Parliament on the opposite side of the political spectrum called for the resignations of Saifuddin and Thomas, claiming that the public no longer trusted them as they were not protecting the Constitution and the nation’s sovereignty.

The group also claimed that the duo had supported the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

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