CREDIT must be given to the new Inspector-General of Police, Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, for vowing to eliminate elements of corruption in the Malaysian police force, “IGP: Corruption in police force a major sin” (The Star, June 12).
I have never heard the head of a government department/agency openly admitting that corruption is a major problem in his/her department. (Management gurus emphasise that admitting to having a specific problem is the organisation’s first step towards fixing it.)
The IGP also pointed out that corruption is prevalent across the board in all 10 departments of the police force, including Special Branch. What a revelation coming from the horse’s mouth!
Previously, when police personnel were caught red-handed receiving bribes, they would be protected by the force.
Malaysians are so used to hearing excuses like “It’s a one-off thing” and “There are a few bad apples” that it is indeed a very promising start for the new IGP in cleaning up our police force and eventually eradicating corruption.
The IGP prefers to take the “soft” approach by heightening awareness of the ills of corruption and advising his officers to stop all actions that are harmful to the public.
I cannot agree more. Instead of going on a witch hunt and looking for past wrongdoers, the IGP’s simple and clear message is “Stop all the nonsense right away or else.”
However, the IGP should be mindful that at some point in time, the recalcitrant officers would have to be hauled up to face the music. This would demonstrate to other members of the force that he means what he says.
One quick and sure way to identify these wayward officers is to gather information on those who are living beyond their means. In addition, the IGP needs to strategise and fine-tune the whistleblowing mechanism to encourage more fellow officers to come forward and provide information.
The police force in many countries has been commonly identified as one of the most corrupt government institutions, and Malaysia is no exception. I therefore give the new IGP credit for being so bold in addressing corruption in the force. Unfortunately, he has only two years to spruce up the department’s image, so that’s indeed a tall order.
DR POLA SINGH