PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry has granted permission for Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) enforcement officers to carry firearms while on enforcement duty.
SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the commission had requested for approval last year and received the green light in July.
However, he stressed that arming his men was considered a last resort, and that the commission believed that a change of attitude among the people was still a better way to go.
“It (firearms) is not the best solution for our problems, and we still rely on strong cooperation with other enforcement agencies such as the police force,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Mohd Nur also expressed regret over the attack on SPAD enforcement officers during a roadblock in Langkawi last Friday.
“The problem is that some people are not used to having the law being enforced, but the culture must change.
“We are doing our operations based on the law, and they must respect that,” he added.
In last Friday morning’s roadblock at Jalan Lapangan Terbang Padang Mat Sirat, Langkawi, a mob turned violent and attacked Kedah SPAD enforcement officers, including overturning their vehicles.
SPAD enforcement division head Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad said the operation was conducted to put a stop to unlicensed taxi and rental cars operating in Langkawi.
“We received numerous complaints from taxi associations that some operators are operating without proper licences and insurance. We just want to protect the public from using cars that are not subjected to safety inspections by Puspakom,” he said.
On the approval to carry firearms, Che Hasni said it would only be done for certain kinds of operations.
“And only some officers will be allowed to carry firearms.”
Police have picked up 11 men over the Langkawi incident, and all the suspects have been remanded for investigations under the Penal Code for rioting and committing mischief.
Kedah CID chief Asst Comm Mohd Nashir Ya warned that police would not hesitate to take stern action against those who try to stop officers from carrying out their duties.
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