A BARISAN MP has voiced his concerns over the image of the police, saying that it has been tarnished by instances of abuse of power and lack of professionalism.
Lee Kah Choon (BN – Jelutong) cited cases of criminal acts committed by police officers, including having sex with female detainees.
“Is the incident in the district police station in Ampang Jaya where police officers committed sexual acts with women detainees an isolated case or the tip of the iceberg?” he asked in debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.
The arrest of lawyers representing families of those who died under detention, he added, also gave the impression the police wanted to cover up such incidents.
He said statistics between 2000 and last year showed 44 detainees died in police detention. Of these, 28 were reported last year, compared to 10 in 2001 and six in 2000.
“We cannot regard these incidents as isolated cases,” he said, adding that according to the 2001 Police Commission Report at least 1,000 police officers faced disciplinary action every year for various offences, including bribery, misuse of weapons, rape, kidnapping and drug abuse.
Lee proposed that a special commission be set up to conduct comprehensive research on how to improve the force, including a study of the salary scale as the job was hazardous and police personnel were overworked but underpaid.
He also suggested that an independent body be formed to investigate and prosecute police who had committed offences.
In addition, he proposed the setting up of a “weekend court” to speed up the handling of remand cases.
Fong Po Kuan (DAP – Batu Gajah) created a commotion in the House when she accused the police of tarnishing the country’s image by treating some Indian nationals in a high-handed manner during a raid last Sunday.
“I think the Government should apologise to these Indian nationals, who have come here with valid travel documents.
“This is a failure on the part of the police to carry out their duties efficiently. The Government should allow these people to renew their visas for free due to the embarrassment caused by the police,” she said.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP – Kepong) said the Government should upgrade the condition of police stations.
Many of them were in poor shape and did not reflect Malaysia’s status as a modern country, he said.
Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad (BN –Parit Sulong) urged the Government to play a prominent role in preventing the West from capitalising on the terrorism issue.
The Western powers, he said, wanted to use the issue to advance their neo-imperialistic agenda.
“They want to strengthen their hegemony in the economic, military and political spheres, besides creating chaos in governments that are not friendly to them,” he said.