PDRM – Short On Promises High On Hopes

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 “We can’t question the rakyat’s expectation that the Police Force respond efficiently and effectively with integrity and fairness. This is their right and, therefore, it’s our responsibility” – Tan Sri Musa Hassan 


 
History
The Royal Malaysian Police or PDRM (Polis DiRaja Malaysia) in Bahasa Malaysia has been around for over 200 years. It traced its origins to the Malacca Sultanate of yore.  The modern-day police took shape on March 25, 1807, in Penang. Policing duties later extended to the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States, as British colonial hegemony and commercial interests grew. It was strictly a state affair.
      The centralisation of the police force came about only after World War II when the Civil Affairs Police Force was formed.
The British Adminis-tration had to rebuild a demoralised police force caused by the Japanese invaders. The ensuing struggle by the outlawed Malayan Communist Party forestalled these restructuring programmes, as attention was focused on blunting the Communist threat. During Malaysia’s confrontation with Indonesia (1962 to 1966), police personnel, along with soldiers, were deployed in Johore and Sabah to thwart Indonesian infiltrators.
The title “Royal” was bestowed on the force in July 1958 by the nation’s first Agong. When Malaysia was formed in September 1963, the Royal Federation of Malayan Police, the North Borneo Armed Constabulary and Sarawak Constabulary merged and the present-day PDRM came into being.
 
Progress report
So how far has the nation’s police force progressed since the heady days of the 1800s? Judging from comments in the media, the rakyat’s perception of PDRM is rather poor. The major grouse concerns its inability to combat crime, especially in the urban areas. The recent dialogue between residents of Canning Garden, Simee and Ipoh Garden and the city police is a good indicator of this dichotomy. One resident lamented that it was no longer safe to walk in his neighbourhood after 6 p.m. Another bemoaned the lack of police presence in residential areas. Incidents of snatch thefts, robberies and petty thefts are on the rise and the Police seem powerless to contain them. These are major worries and perception, being what it is, will remain unchanged.
Statistics have been liberally used to show a downward trend in criminal activities. The reluctance of victims reporting to the Police is the reason. Many incidents of thefts and robberies go unreported largely because the victims do not see the necessity of making such attempts. “It’s too troublesome”, said the owner of a photo studio which was burgled last February.


The thief entered his shop through the roof, disarmed the alarm system and carted nearly RM40, 000 worth of cameras, lenses and petty cash. The intruder tried to dismantle a CCTV camera but failed and in the process an image of him was captured.Armed with the photo, the owner lodged a report but nothing was forthcoming. The same culprit was again caught on camera traipsing through a house at night in Taman Merdeka. Another report and yet another dead end. Even with photographic evidence, no arrest or identification has been made to date.
 
Frustration of Ipohites

 
This is the kind of frustration that confronts Ipohites on a daily basis. A feeling of impotence seems to dog  those entrusted with the care of the nation’s security. In spite of assurances and reassurances by senior police officers during dialogues and meetings, residents have not warmed up to them. Most are skeptical. They want admissions not denials, actions not words, facts not fictions and results not figures.
  Cars are hijacked. Even taxis are being targetted, what more necklaces and hand bags. All are fair game for these hardened criminals.
The days of the mata-mata making their rounds on foot and bicycles are long gone. Pak Abu, the constable on the beat, in my kampong in the 50s and 60s, was one fellow we rowdies would not dare to tangle with. The mere sight of him on his rickety bone-shaker would send shivers down our spines. Today you hardly see them, less for the ubiquitous traffic cops and the occasional patrol cars, with flashing blue lights, passing by.
 
PDRM Under Siege?

 
The Perak Police contingent observed the 203rd Police Day on March 25 with an impressive parade at the contingent headquarters. Deputy CPO, SAC 1 Dato’ Zakaria Yusof, delivered the IGP’s speech . “We cannot question the rakyat’s expectations that the Police Force respond efficiently and effectively with integrity and fairness. This is their right and, therefore, it’s our responsibility.”  Is this sufficient to shore up confidence in the force? I can’t possibly say.
 Hopefully, the new restructuring exercise and a pay revision will spur the personnel to greater heights.
A third force, said the IGP, was meddling in the affairs of the police. The Home Minister refuted the IGP’s claim. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, an Umno stalwart, made this pronouncement recently. “Before we can pursue meaningful economic strategy we need to get our house in order. We need to undertake bold reforms to restore the independence of the police, the anti-corruption commission and the judiciary”.

Restore the independence of the police? This is very interesting. Is PDRM under siege? I don’t have an answer.
Whatever it is, people’s expectations are high, and so are their hopes.

6 thoughts on “PDRM – Short On Promises High On Hopes

  1. QUOTE
    … meomorise their names. Make a report to OCPD Ipoh immediately. He has promised …
    UNQUOTE

    You gotta be kidding me! Don’t see why I should bother to lodge a report when they have stopped caring a looooooooong time ago.

  2. Too bad Aaron, you got caught by the most ingenious of plan perpetrated by the “mat kampaus”. This kind of trap is as old as the force itself. Hiding behind bushes, behind walls, behind buildings and around blind corners waiting for the unsuspecting and unfortunate motorists/motorcyclists to appear.

    In the old days they would hide in the dark and would pounce on us, poor cyclists. Then a 20-cent coin was enough to see us through. So we depended on our stamina to get the better of them. A burst of speed would keep us ahead of the poor “mat kampau” who would fumble before he could ride his rickety bicycle. All he had then was his trusty “chota” or wooden baton and a whistle.

    These hide-behind-the-bush types are normally PVRs (Police Volunteer Reserves)who don on uniforms to assist the GD Police on patrol duties.

    The hard-up ones would resort to extortion to get some quick cash for their time spent on beat duty. Normally, they are being paired off with a regular mata-mata.

    So, the next time you are being halted by these cheapskates take a hard look at their name tags and meomorise their names. Make a report to OCPD Ipoh immediately. He has promised to stem out corruption. Let’s see whether he walks his talk.

    These guys are supposed to patrol the streets and make them safe for us laymen, not lay in wait for an easy prey. It’s a cat-and-mouse game perfected into an art by the mata-mata. Good on them.

    Wonder what DCP Dato’ Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah, the hard-working-no-nonsense CPO of Perak has to say? Over to you, Dato’.

  3. Was stopped by the police at a “bawah pokok” type of roadblock for a minor traffic infringement. 100% my fault.

    The police asked me for my IC/License and kept stalling many times.

    “Nak saya tulis ke?”

    “Betul ke nak saya tulis ni?”

    I truly dunno what to say. In the end they looked disappointed as I insisted that they go ahead and “tulis”.

    No prizes for guessing what they were stalling for.

    So if they happened to be catching a crook, can they ask, “Nak saya tangkap ke? Betul ke?” I mean, is there really an option?

    I am so disappointed with the police.

    So much for professionalism!

  4. QUOTE

    Statistics have been liberally used to show a downward trend in criminal activities. The reluctance of victims reporting to the Police is the reason. Many incidents of thefts and robberies go unreported largely because the victims do not see the necessity of making such attempts. “It’s too troublesome”, said the owner of a photo studio which was burgled last February.

    UNQUOTE

    I agree with the above. After a few reports that I took the UTMOST trouble to make and the police showing absolutely ZERO interest in investigating it despite offering proofs, I no longer want to make reports.

    That’s why statistics is showing a downtrend in crime because people no longer want to take the trouble to make them anymore.

    Not only that, many years ago I was asked for a bribe just to “recover” some stolen goods… Twice.

    Upon lodging a report on another pickpocketing case, this is what the police said to me when I inquired as to when they will be investigating the case as I had some evidence from a CCTV,

    “Tindakan??? Eh, takdelah…. Nah, ni salinan repot ni, bawak pegi IC department buat balik IC, tu je..”

    “Action??? Oh no, now you just bring this copy of the report, go to the IC department and apply for your new IC, that’s all…”

    That’s the result of my driving though unfamiliar roads at night, getting lost looking for a specific police station and spending some time to tunggu this fella or that fella.

    If that’s not service with an excuse, I don’t know what is.

    I have ZERO faith in the police.

  5. I agree with you to a point, DrM.

    Yes, the high crime rate is attributable to a failed system that condones corruption at both ends of the social spectrum – top and bottom. A system put in place by a tyrannical and myopic “elected dictator” who relishes in the thoughts that social engineering necessitated the scaling down of democratic values at the detriment of personal freedom. This was done to support his inflated ego and the end result is what you and I see today.

    Having said that, it does not mean that government agencies like the Police, Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission etc should pander to the needs of the Executive.

    Granted that they should be subservient to the “Government of the Day” that, however, does not entail blind obedience. The agencies should exercise a certain measure of independence and remain apolitical for a good reason – to serve the rakyat and observe the rule of law not otherwise.

    PDRM, as the editor has postulated, has allowed itself to be “prostituted” by the Executive at the behest of the rakyat. This is a cause for concern. You have an IGP who sings and dances to the tune of the Umnoputras.

    When the force is depended upon to safeguard the rakyat its personnel were being deployed at the State Secretariat to protect Zambry and Co. Is the safety of the BN lawmakers a priority? Isn’t this a waste of tax payers’ money?

    I don’t subscribe to view that the escalating crime rate has something to do with poor remuneration.

    PDRM has just got itself a pay revision and this in itself should spur the personnel to greater heights, as the editor has rightly vouched.

    The real problem is poor leadership. A crooked leadership is a breeding ground for incompetency and corruption. Like they say in the army, “There are no bad soldiers but bad officers”.

    Musa Hassan should walk his talk. But how could he do so when self preservation and personal interests matter more to him than you and I.

    Simply put, there are no likable solutions in sight so long as the status quo remains unchanged.

  6. Don’t Blame the Police, crime is high because our corrupt goverment has almost bankrupted the country, stifled its progress through various unfair policies.
    The problem is wages and education. People in Malaysia are still being paid RM500.00? Lawyers are still paying their clarks RM500.00 Factory workers are still being paid RM500.00. People turn to crime for survival and because the system has failed them and they are desperate. This is the result of years of corruption in this country. Don’t blame the police, they can be blamed for other issues (we wont go there now) but not the rate of crime. The rate of crime is high because billions of ringgit has been stolen from the rakyat.

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