Dewan Rakyat resumes — the next 12 days

The sitting today until July 18 is anticipated to be ‘exciting’, with some MPs describing it as extraordinary


AS PARLIAMENT reconvenes for its third meeting under the 14th Parliament session, lawmakers are anticipating an interesting stretch of 12 days that might see bills being tabled, paving the way to new laws.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting which starts today until July 18 is anticipated to be “exciting”, with some MPs describing it as extraordinary because several laws are expected to be introduced.

One of the highly anticipated bills that would be tabled could be the abolition of the mandatory death penalty and Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The motion to abolish the death penalty was the government’s commitment, in line with point 27 of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto — to do away with cruel and oppressive laws.

The death penalty is to be replaced with a jail term of at least 30 years, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said in Dewan Rakyat last year.

Last November, the government has decided to abolish capital punishment for 32 offences under eight acts of law, including Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

The decision also encompasses the Firearms (Heavier Penalties) Act 1971, Firearms Act 1960, Kidnapping Act 1961, Armed Forces Act 1972, Water Services Industry Act 2006, Strategic Trade Act 2010 and Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, according to Liew.

Concurrently, the government is expected to table a bill to introduce IPCMC, which would replace the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and act as an independent body to look into police complaints more holistically.

The EAIC is a federal statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, under Section 3 of the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Act 2009 (Act 700) which was gazetted on Sept 3, 2009.

This Act replaced the IPCMC Bill 2005. It was created in line with the government’s aim to enhance integrity among enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies.

Numerous parties are against the idea of IPCMC, claiming it to violate the Police Act 1967.

According to the Malaysian Bar, Article 140(1) of the Federal Constitution — which is the supreme law of the land — Parliament may enact legislation to provide for the exercise of disciplinary control over all or any of the members of the police force, in such manner and by such authority as may be provided in that legislation.

The police force gave their consent for the formation of the IPCMC in May 2019, some 14 years after it was first proposed.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador (picture) said the consent was based on the guarantee that police powers would not be diminished.

The IPCMC was mooted by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the police in its report published in May 2005.

Other pressing matters that would be highlighted in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting include the constitutional amendment on the voting age which would allow the young people to vote at the age of 18.

The bill to amend the National Security Council (NSC) Act is also set to be tabled for its first reading, according to the official Parliament website.

The amendment will in turn remove the powers of the prime minister to declare a security area.

The powers will then rest in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the advice of the Council, once the amendments are approved.

Other bills that would be tabled for first reading includes Trade Description (Amendment) Bill 2019 and Trademarks Bill 2019.

For Trademarks Bill 2019, the proposed Act seeks to provide for the registration of trademarks in relation to goods and services, and to implement the relevant treaties and for other matters connected therewith.

The Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2019 also proposed the deletion of certain sections in the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, which are consequential amendments arising from the enactment of the proposed new Trademarks Act 2019.

The introduction of these two bills is aimed at facilitating Malaysia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.

The Madrid Protocol is an international system that enables trademark owners to obtain trademark registrations in a wide number of countries by filing a single application. Under the Madrid System, a trademark owner can file a single application to apply for protection in up to 120 countries.