“The Malaysian police force has many capable leaders within its ranks who are working tirelessly to clean it up and get rid of personnel at every level who have abused their authority or tarnished the force’s image.

TWO positions subject to intense scrutiny are the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). These roles carry significant responsibilities and expectations, and are known for their inherent stress and being among the most challenging in the public service sector.

The MACC investigates high-profile corruption cases to reduce leakages and recover the nation’s wealth while the police force is tasked with maintaining law and order, protecting our lives and property. They put their lives on the line in performing their duties to serve the public.

At times it may seem like a thankless job as the plaudits are few and far for police personnel who tirelessly perform their duties.

The police force must confront the reality that there are those among its workforce “poisoning the well”, and these rouges must be weeded out. This can be seen in the recent arrest of police officers and findings from various surveys conducted on the police force.

For example, Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2020 highlighted that the Malaysian police force is perceived as one of the most corrupt institutions.

According to the latest Police Corruption Index, the Malaysian police is ranked 34 out of 100 most corrupt countries, with Honduras police ranking first and Denmark police ranking 100.

The Malaysian police force has many capable leaders within its ranks who are working tirelessly to clean it up and get rid of personnel at every level who have abused their authority or tarnished the force’s image. It is important to remember that a few bad apples should not tarnish the entire barrel. Credit must be given where it is due.

The new police line-up headed by IGP Tan Sri Razarudin Husain, his deputy Datuk Seri Ayob Khan and Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain, who heads the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department, gives Malaysians some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to addressing crime in the country. These three senior officers walk their talk.

For example, the IGP set a good precedent when he made surprise visits to police stations in Nilai, Mantin and Tambun to personally engage with officers, offer guidance and assess the needs of victims or complainants.

The federal police of Integrity and Standards Compliance Department, under the leadership of Datuk Seri Azri Ahmad, is speeding up their hunt for errant cops.

To achieve success in addressing the challenges, the IGP needs wholehearted and genuine support from all the Bukit Aman’s directors, state chief police officers, officers in charge of police districts (OCPDs) and all other officers to clean up their acts. These supervisors must step up to lead and manage their subordinates.

He told the OCPDs that they would be held accountable if Bukit Aman detected any of their subordinates living extravagantly beyond their positions and salaries, and that they would be answerable for any criminal activities that occur in their districts.

His mission is to restore the force’s honour and regain public trust in the police force. Another commendable initiative is the implementation of a robust succession plan by the IGP. To reform the police force, only qualified officers will be considered for promotions or appointments to specific departments, ensuring the continuity of his efforts and the preservation of his legacy. This strategic move aims to guarantee that the force is equipped with competent and capable successors, thus preventing any potential derailment of his initiatives.

Generally, there are four typologies of police officers around the world – the avoiders (those who shirk their duties), enforcers (inclined towards making arrests), idealists (primarily theoretical in their approach) and lastly the professional (possessing knowledge, skills and experience). It is imperative to have a strong contingent of professionals within the police force to ensure that all situations are handled effectively and appropriately.

The government should also consider increasing the budget allocated to the police force. This financial boost would aid in enhancing infrastructure and facilities, thereby ensuring the comfort of officers. It is crucial to provide higher-quality living quarters and to demonstrate concern for the welfare of rank-and-file police personnel by reviewing their current benefits and allowances. By addressing issues such as poor housing, the government can prevent any factors from negatively impacting officers’ work productivity, and ultimately compromising their integrity.

The rakyat wants to be proud of its police force – one that diligently performs its duties in maintaining law and order while protecting the country with the highest level of integrity.

Let us all work together to make this vision a reality. It is imperative that the rakyat extend its support to our police force.

The writer is the president of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners - Malaysia Chapter. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

Clickable Image
Clickable Image
Clickable Image