KL No.2 cop calling it a day

Trailblazer: DCP Yong speaking to the media. She is the first woman to hold the position of Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief. — CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: After 35 years fighting crime, Deputy Comm Datuk Yong Lei Choo is finally calling it a day as a cop.

The city deputy police chief, the first woman to hold the position, will officially hand over the position of the city’s No.2 cop to her successor DCP Yahaya Othman on Oct 26, before her mandatory retirement.

In an interview with the media yesterday, DCP Yong said she has had a fruitful career and was proud of paving the way for future female officers.

Joining the Kuala Lumpur police in November 2019, DCP Yong, who spent most of her career in the Special Branch, said that the transition to her current post was not difficult.

“It’s still the same job, just with differing scopes. Back when I was in the Special Branch, I only managed that (department). But in the KL contingent, I had to look after all departments, from narcotics to traffic.

“But I’m the kind of person who thrives under pressure. So I enjoyed it very much,” she said.

While her two years here are coming to a close, one of the projects that she helped oversee will continue after she leaves.

“We have the concept paper to turn Greater Kuala Lumpur into ‘Safer Cities’, which is a city planning concept by the United Nations to make a city free from violence, destruction, social and moral degradation and accidents.

“The paper has already been endorsed by the Kuala Lumpur police chief and hopefully the Inspector-General of Police will endorse it as well,” she said.

On the life of a law enforcer, DCP Yong said that while being a police officer came with its benefits, you could only go far if you were willing to put in the work.

“Passion is key. When you join, you do so on a voluntary basis and you do so knowing what being a policeman means,” she said.

“It’s the same as you reporters. It’s a tough job and you need to go here (and) go there to find news. But with passion, you will want to do your best, and that’s something I keep telling my men.

“In my next life, I hope I will still end up as a policeman,” she said.

In addition to that, DCP Yong believed that one could not be a good police officer without a degree of empathy and compassion.

“Some of us are lacking in that area. I always remind my men to treat those that come into the police station the same way they would like to be treated.

“Ask yourself what would you do in their positions,” she said.

Being one of the few top-ranked female officers, DCP Yong believed that gender should not be used as an excuse.

“Policing is a job dominated by men and that is a fact not just in Malaysia but the world over. However, as a woman I feel that we can compete with the men,” she said.

While retirement looms, DCP Yong is not ready to relax just yet.

“I’m blessed to have my health, so I want to try out certain things.

“There has been an offer for me to be a lecturer but I’ll need time to settle down first before making my decision,” she said, adding that she would still like to serve the community.

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