Image of police under scrutiny

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 11 Dec 2005

MPS were still caught up over the controversial video clip featuring a naked woman doing ear squats while in police custody – this time they debated at length about whether the force's image had been tainted. 

Barisan Nasional and opposition MPs traded barbs over how the video clip had affected the police image, and also how the issue was handled. 

However, PAS MPs were not involved in the debate as they had a more pressing matter to attend to. Hardly any PAS MPs could be seen in Parliament last week as they were probably busy with the Pengkalan Pasir by-election. 

On Monday, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang moved a motion to cut the salary of Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar by RM10 for making a statement the previous week that foreigners could “go back to their countries” if they felt that Malaysian police were cruel. 

On the same day, Teresa Kok (DAP – Seputeh) tabled another motion calling for the Inspector-General of Police’s salary to be cut also by RM10. 

A number of Barisan MPs objected to the motions and hit back at DAP for blowing the issue up and affecting relations between Malaysia and China. 

Ahmad Shaberry Cheek (BN – Kemaman) questioned Lim's real intention calling for Noh's salary cut. 

He said DAP not only wanted shame and to tarnish the credibility of the ministry, which oversaw the police, but also the Prime Minister who is the Internal Security Minister. 

“It is a non-issue. The Prime Minister has reprimanded the deputy minister and he has apologised for his mistake. If Barisan MPs were to move a motion to cut his salary, it could be approved any time. But we do not abuse our power of being in the majority.” 

He also told Lim that it was easy for the opposition to look for flaws of the police but it should not deny that the Royal Malaysian Police had done a good job ensuring peace and security in the country. 

Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN – Sri Gading) also questioned whether the opposition party appreciated the contributions by the force. 

Noh later apologised for his statement in the House during the winding-up of the debate on the motion, adding that DAP should thank the Prime Minister for making efforts to bring about reform in the force, including setting up an independent commission to investigate the video clip issue. 

Liow Tiong Lai (BN – Bentong) proposed that regulations concerning police lock-up procedures be adhered to and that police personnel be supervised strictly to prevent wrongdoings. 

He also suggested that the standard operating procedure be made public to ensure transparency. 

While both motions were rejected after a vote, MPs from both sides of the political divide had one thing in common. They all agreed that the country needed a police force which was professional, efficient, disciplined and responsible and the black sheep be removed. 

The week also saw the conduct of MPs under scrutiny again. 

In two separate incidents, MPs used the words katak (frog) and monyet (monkey) during heated exchanges. 

On Monday, some MPs likened Lim's behaviour to a frog during the debate on the motion to cut Noh's salary. 

Ahmad Shaberry and Datuk Badarudin Amiruldin (BN – Jerai) criticised Lim saying he was jumping like a frog when he interrupted and reacted angrily when Ahmad Shaberry defended Noh. 

They got away with it as none of the MPs objected to the use of the word. 

However, on Wednesday, deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng made a ruling asking MPs to stop using derogatory words once and for all. 

He reprimanded Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk M. Kayveas for insinuating that M. Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat) was acting like a monkey when they were arguing during the debate on the Judges' Remuneration (Amendment) Bill 2005. 

Two weeks ago, Kayveas had called Lim and Fong Po Kuan (DAP – Batu Gajah) “monkey” and later withdrew his statement after Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib directed him to do so. 

The Dewan Rakyat adjourned sine die last Thursday after sitting for 41 days.  

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