KUALA LUMPUR: Despite it being just slightly over a week since taking the job as the city’s second in command, Deputy Comm Datuk Yong Lei Choo has hit the ground running.
Having had the honour as KL’s first woman deputy police chief, DCP Yong is aware that her new posting has thrown a lot of attention her way.
The new deputy officially took up the position on Nov 1, having previously served as the Royal Malaysian Police College commandant.
Her crime-busting career spans 33 years, with a majority of it being with the Special Branch, up until 2015.
During an interview with selected media yesterday at the contingent police headquarters, DCP Yong dispelled the notion that going from a Special Branch officer to a more public role would be a culture shock.
“It’s not like we are working like James Bond, working only behind the scenes and in secret. Even when we are in the Special Branch we do keep in touch with the public.
“In the police, it doesn’t matter which department you are posted to. What is important is that you are committed and deliver your best, ” she said.
When asked to comment on her feelings as the first woman to hold the position, DCP Yong said that it was an honour to do so.
“I actually got the news just three days from my birthday so you can consider the posting as an early birthday present. Being the first woman to hold the post here is a blessing. I thank the leaders for their confidence in me, ” she said.
While it has just been only a few days since taking the post, DCP Yong has already made it a point to interact personally with the personnel serving under her.
“I’ve already met up with the men and women at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters. I plan to do the same with all the other districts here as well, ” she said, adding that she emphasised the quality of service provided to the public.
Community engagements are also high up in her to-do list, saying that it is imperative that the community and police have constant interaction in the ongoing fight against crime.
And while many would say they perceive the crime rate to be high, DCP Yong argued that the numbers showed otherwise.
While she did not share city-wide statistics, DCP Yong noted that it is likely that the crime index in the city would fall as a whole, judging by the statistics from the Dang Wangi district.
“Over the past 10 months, violent crime saw a drop of 3.6%. For property crime, that has gone down by 22.6%. This is when compared to the same period last year.
“This shows that our crime prevention efforts are working. Don’t you think this is a good indicator?” she said, adding that the public also had to play their part in crime prevention.
On the topic of female policewomen, DCP Yong said that women roughly make up 15% of the force.
She however was quick to deny that there was any gender discrimination within the police force.
“It doesn’t matter what your gender is. Only that you’re competent and are able to discharge your duties, ” she said.
She did give special praise for female officers who juggle family and work responsibilities.
“I need to salute them. It is tough. Even if you have both husband and wife working in the police force, normally it’s the woman who would need to go back to care for the sick child.
“Respect should be given to those who are able to successfully divide their time. Regardless of their rank, ” she said.
Her advice for up and coming officers? Always be hungry for more knowledge and have a good work attitude.
“Read. You must keep abreast with what’s happening. There is an urgency for us to acquire more knowledge.
“The police force can train you. But it is your attitude that matters. Whether you want to do your job well, or just half-heartedly, it depends on you, ” she concluded.