When a state of Emergency was declared in January this year, I was reminded of the following lines written by my mentor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin in his paper aptly titled "Unity in Diversity: the Malaysian experience" (UKM Ethnic Studies Paper Series No.13, Oct 2010).
This is our country’s second after the Malayan Emergency in 1948, post-World War II. Whether fighting against a virus or terrorists, the Royal Malaysia Police force, with its civilian volunteers, play an instrumental role. In fact, the Royal Malaysia Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) (Sukarelawan Simpanan Polis Diraja Malaysia) was set up during the Malayan Emergency. Putting on the uniform to perform our duties morphs civilians like me who are in the PVR into police officers. The Police Act 1967 stipulates that when on duty, PVRs bear the same powers and authority as regular police officers in the corresponding rank.