KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Police has been rated by an international body as the best police force in Asean, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).
The Deputy Prime Minister said that despite the recognition and the reduction of the country's crime index by some 47%, there was still negative public perception towards the police.
However, he did not give further details on which international body gave the rating.
"The Royal Malaysian Police, according to the ratings is acknowledged as the best police in Asean.
"This is an international recognition but what is the perception? In my estimation only 20% are positive about the police," he said in his speech at the Addressing Perception on Safety and Security forum here on Wednesday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also said he decided to extend the discussion time with the audience at the forum by one hour to gauge the sentiments of the people towards the men in blue.
He pointed out that the forum was a valuable platform for the Government and its agencies to engage with stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations.
"We would like to create confidence among the people in order to change the perception.
"We must create a situation where people are safe and feel safe, and as Home Minister I will do my best," he said.
He said the police should find a friendlier approach to deal with the public apart from increasing its engagement with them to better understand the problems and find solutions.
"This will be our approach. It will take time to change perceptions and this effort cannot be done only by the police," he said.