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Sunday August 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday August 25, 2013 MYT 10:00:15 AM
by farik zolkepli
PETALING JAYA: The police have formed a special squad of 400 highly-trained officers to target drug kingpins and the big players in organised and serious crimes.
As the crackdown on crime continues, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also revealed that a new preventive law is in the pipeline to empower the police.
After launching a forum on crime prevention here yesterday, he told reporters that the squad, comprising two teams, was the creme de la creme of the force.
He added that the Bukit Aman squad, led by a police commissioner, would act without having to report to state and district police headquarters.
“The squad will hit the drug syndicates and the underworld without warning,” he said.
“It will have wide jurisdiction and is authorised to bypass state and district police. It will work separately from Bukit Aman’s Narcotics Department.”
Ahmad Zahid said his ministry was bent on changing the false perception that police were in cahoots with the underworld.
“It is not that we do not trust the state or district police chiefs but we want to rectify the false perception that policemen are corrupt,” he said.
“The police are colour blind when it comes to fighting crime. I have the utmost confidence the squad will produce results.”
He said the ministry was aware of criticisms that police only caught petty drug distributors and addicts, and gave an assurance that the perception that “big fish” often escaped would end with the setting up of the special squad.
“We are being proactive, and we already have a list of hot spots that will be targeted,” he said.
While recognising that rehabilitation was a good way to solve the drug problem, Ahmad Zahid said the ministry wanted to tackle it at the source.
“With no suppliers around, the demand for drugs will lessen,” he said, adding that the squad was responsible for the recent successes against violent crime in Penang, including the raid where five suspected gang members were shot dead on Monday.
Meanwhile, Crime Prevention Department director Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the squad members comprised officers with CID and Narcotics background.
“We might even rope in officers from the Special Action Unit.
“We want them to be an elite and strong group that will hit drug syndicates and organised and serious crimes hard,” he said.
Comm Ayub said the underworld was often involved in drug-related crimes and fought to control new territories.
At the forum, Ahmad Zahid said the Government was expected to table the new preventive law at the Parliament session next month.
A panel consisting of four ministers, the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers had completed the initial draft of the new law although the panel was still open to feedback, he said.
“We expect the new law to be tabled in Parliament in September.
“It looks at various aspects to empower the police to battle crime effectively,” he said.
He assured the participants that the input from the forum would be included in the draft of the new law.
Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Zahid, who is also the new Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation chairman, said the repeal of the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance had weakened the police in the fight against crime.
“Any new law to be enacted must give priority to the victims of crime.
“The new law will ensure that power to detain will not rest solely with the Home Minister – it will be decided by a panel,” he said.
The new law would not emphasise detention without trial, he said, and added: “It must achieve a balance between ensuring civil liberties and the safety of the people.”
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