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Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi delivers his speech during the opening of the party’s 73rd general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC). -NSTP/Eizairi Shamsudin

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today reiterated that the opposition bloc will not support the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

He said the opposition, together with independent Members of Parliament, are against the tabling of the IPCMC bill as they worry over the welfare of the police.

Zahid, who was the deputy prime minister and home minister under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, justified the stand taken by citing the recent return of former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng’s ashes into the country.

“Many widows and next-of-kin of the police, members of the armed forces and civilians (who were killed during Chin Peng’s reign of violence) are still hurt by the incident.

“That is why Members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional, Pas and independent (MPs) reject the government’s proposal for setting up the IPCMC.

“We want to champion the welfare of the police, who are colour-blind when it comes to politics. All that (the police) want is to guard the security of the country,” said Zahid in his speech at the opening of Umno’s 73rd general assembly here, today.

Chin Peng’s ashes were secretly brought in to Malaysia on Sept 16, while a memorial in his honour was held in Ipoh and attended by 150 people.

The previous government had issued a warning against bringing his remains or ashes back to Malaysia. Despite this, the committee which brought his ashes back scattered them at two locations in Perak.

The tabling of the IPCMC bill at the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 3 was postponed following a decision by Cabinet.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Liew Vui Keong, said that the move was made to refine the bill to facilitate its implementation, and to avoid any unwanted issues from arising once it is passed.

Zahid went on to criticise the current administration for allowing Ching Peng’s ashes to be smuggled in to the country.

“The (Pakatan Harapan) government said they did not have information on it. I sympathise with them.

“When BN, under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in power, we had rejected (an application) to allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought into the country,” he said.- Reporting by Adib Povera, Veena Babulal, Teh Athira Yusof, Teoh Pei Ying

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