Be brave and drastic in fighting crime


  • Opinion
  • Sunday, 14 Jan 2007

Bukit Aman must be brave and drastic in recruiting and training enough new men to fill the immediate need. 

I AM sure that IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and the new CID director Christopher Wan are strenuously trying to bring our crime situation under control. Wan is the second Chinese director in PDRM but its first Chinese director of criminal investigations and the second non-Malay CID chief since Merdeka. 

The first was the redoubtable late J.J. Raj Senior, the first CID director I ever worked for. Like most of the senior officers of his time, he was extremely strict and really demanded a high standard of dedication. It was a pleasure to read his minutes in the investigation papers. 

So, I am sure Wan must be trying his best to emulate his predecessor. He has done well to lead the Sekinchan gambling raid and now to demand an account from those officers who closed their eyes to the illegal goings-on under their noses. At the very least, these officers have been derelict in acquiring criminal intelligence. 

The nexus between the economy and a sense of security is as close as that between the former and political stability. 

The Royal Commission on the Enhancement of the Management and Operations was told in 2004 that even then, a number of foreign investors had relocated their factories and operations to other countries in the region because of the poor perception of security and police efficiency in parts of Malaysia. 

The reported recent presentation by our High Commissioner to Singapore to the agencies-that-be in Putrajaya of the misgivings among Singapore investors on the security situation in Johor must be very telling. So is the alarm raised by freight forwarders and transport operators over the numerous cases of lorry hijackings. 

In Bukit Aman, there is always the feeling of being short-handed because this is the traditional excuse of subordinate formations. We can never have enough policemen! The 60,000 additional men approved recently will take a long time to recruit and train. I doubt whether PDRM can find 10,000 good material a year and sufficient training places for them because the annual attrition rate today must be in excess of 4,000 a year, and that has also to be filled and trained. 

In my time in the late 80s, it was close to 3,000 men – from death, retirement, resignation and dismissal.  

And good training today will require more money and time because of the greater challenges of policing in an increasingly IT-savvy, democratic and human-rights environment. 

Good police commanders must also be good managers who know how to prioritise their work and allocate resources so as to create the perception of a safe environment because perception is all-important. More money is needed in order to move their men around to achieve this flexibility and for supervising officers to check on their men. 

So, what must Bukit Aman do to recruit and train enough new men to fill the immediate need? I say: be brave and drastic. Downsize the IGP Reserves; retrain them to undertake the permanent task of improving the policing of the Klang Valley and Johor Baru. Improve the cooperation and coordination with all other enforcement bodies. 

All MBs and state secretaries whose states have serious public safety problems should call for a meeting and reactivate their security committees so that they understand what is going on. If crime and public safety issues cloud their investment climate and the people’s sentiments towards the government, they must play a proactive role. 

It was the National Security Council’s concerns over infiltration and illegal immigration at the time of Indonesian Confrontation that led to the establishment of Rela. It was again its concern over the high crime rate in 1974 following the release of Pulau Jerejak and other preventive detainees that led to the birth of Rukun Tetangga. And MBs and state secretaries played a sterling role to coordinate civil resources to assist the police and military. 

The way the Selangor MB is now looking into local council roles in the proliferation of illegal gambling and prostitution under cover of amusement and entertainment licensing shows that he is willing to get to the root of our social problems. Other MBs can take the cue. 

 

o Previous articles of Tun Hanif’s Point of View are available at the star.com.my/columnists 

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