Monday, August 25, 2008

The Royal Malaysian Police - Quantity or Quality?

The statistics (source) released by the Royal Malaysian Police revealed that on June 2008, the total crime index stands at a shocking 106,753. That's about an average of 586 criminal cases a day. Malaysians can only speculate what lies ahead for them in the following months to come. Just when things couldn't get any worse, the success rate of solving cases plunged from 46.5% in 2004 to a low 39.3% last year. If this was an examination, the police would have gotten an "F" from the start. The government continues to pledge to expand the police force which currently stands at about 93,000 strong in the next few years. But the question is: Can the crime levels be brought down by merely increasing the number of police officers? Perhaps in retrospect, the issue of 'quality' over weighs the 'quantity' in certain areas of the Royal Malaysian Police in its quest to lower crime levels.

On March 4, 2008 Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (below) promised to ensure steps will be taken by the government and the police to address the increasing crime rate problem.

" We are adding 60,000 more police personnel by 2011 and we will set up more than 150 new police stations and beat bases. We will expand the police presence in neighbourhoods, improve safety in school, playgrounds and public areas, and enhance community policing through partnerships with non-governmental organizations, the private sector and local communities."
[Reuters, 4/3/2008]

There is no disagreement on the fact that our police force have long been under-staffed. It would be too much to ask 93,000 officers to protect and guard the entire Malaysian population of 27.5 million. However, there is also no guarantee that even a police contingent of 200,000 can effectively carry out their duty and reduce the crime levels. The Royal Malaysian Police have a lot to do to repair the damaged reputation of their organisation. The following news headlines certainly did not do much good for the image of the force.

JOHOR BARU: Some RM1 million worth of syabu, believed to be from the biggest drug bust of the year, has been reported missing from the state police headquarters. It is learnt that the thieves, alleged to be policemen, had used acid to melt the padlock. [NST, 5/8/2008]

KUALA LUMPUR: A student is suing a constable for allegedly raping and forcing her to perform oral sex in a police station on June 18. The 17-year-old girl is also suing the Government for alleged negligence in ensuring her safety in the station. [The Star, 23/8/2008]

How are the crime levels ought to be brought under control when the supposed crime fighters are committing crimes themselves? Who does the public turn to now for protection? Even the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan (left) was once investigated for corruption. But the case was ordered to be closed by a higher authority because of the lack of evidence (source). From its leaders to police equipments, this is the meaning of the "quality" that the government desperately needs to review. The government must therefore do more than just organizing a massive recruitment drive for the police if they really want to effectively reduce the crime levels of this country. It must not worsen for the Malaysian public deserves to walk freely on the streets and be safe in their own homes, schools and workplaces!

However, the Royal Malaysian Police were pretty efficient of late when it came to sodomy investigations, DNA demanding and raiding homes of prominent bloggers. They seemed more interested in arresting political activists than the rapists, robbers and murderers who according to statistics risk the lives of Malaysians 586 times a day. So who's to say that the police cannot be efficient. They just have to get their priorities right...and their pockets clean.

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  1. The Man said...

    "We are adding 60,000 more police personnel by 2011..". He forgot to mention that 55,000 of them will be bribe takers that'll leave a case unsolve just for the cash. Bribing is so easy that the process of it is so casual. Take for example in Kajang when I was reporting my accident, I had a guy from the car repair garage with me to help me with insurance and stuff. He's so friendly with the staff at the police station and just says stuff like "you know.." and shake hands and its done. In the car, he told me he's been doing it easily for a long time. The worst thing is, when he's bribing the cops, he's not doing it in secret, he's doing it out in the open while other cops just watch and smile along.

  2. Darren Wong said...

    For me i think that what government could say it only. Add the police officer but what can they do. Less crimes? Did they think where the problems crimes from.How come the crimes index will high?As i know more than 50% police officer didn't their job at all.I really disappointed of malaysia police officer