Caucus public hearing becomes “closed session” – Police not prepared to be responsive

The absence of police officials and the need for the “public hearing” of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance on “Fight Rising Crime” in Petaling Jaya last night to become a “closed session” are clear proof that the Police is still not prepared to adopt a new paradigm of “policing for people” despite all talk of police “rebranding with a new vision and mission”.

Instead of thanking the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance for creating a meaningful forum for the police to hear the voices of the people about their concerns, fears, hopes and nightmares about crime and the fear of crime in various parts of the country, the police have adopted a far from appreciative attitude as illustrated by the absence of police officials at the public hearing in Petaling Jaya last night to hear out the people who are concerned about the law-and-order situation in the Klang Valley to attend and speak up at the three-hour session.

There is also no doubt that if the Police is prepared to fully respect and respond to the concerns of Malaysians about the law-and-order situation, there would have been no need for the Parliamentary Caucus public hearing to become a “closed session” with the media not allowed to report its proceedings.

The “Fight Rising Crime” public hearings of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance were never meant to be police-bashing exercises, and this was clearly understood by members of the public and the press as illustrated by the first public hearing of the caucus in Johor Baru last Sunday.

There is one common objective among those who attended the public hearing — to have a better-quality policing service to restore to Malaysians their most fundamental human right to be doubly free from crime and the fear of crime, so that citizens, tourists and investors can be safe and feel safe whether in the streets, public places or privacy of their residence.

During the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Malaysian Police in March this year, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said that the police was being “rebranded with a new vision and mission in line with the recommendations of the Royal Police Commission”.

If so, then the Police must be guided by the strategic objective which the Royal Police Commission had spelt out for the Malaysian Police — “a world class, twenty-first century organization that is efficient, clean and trustworthy, dedicated to serving the people and the nation with integrity and respect for human rights”.

The police had failed in the rebranding with a new vision and mission as recommended by the Royal Police Commission when it refuses to undergo a new policing paradigm of transforming from “Policing for Government” to “Policing for People” with the conspicuous absence of police officers at the Parliamentary Caucus public hearing on “Fight Rising Crime”, which had to become a “closed session” out-of-bounds for media coverage.

The Royal Police Commission had recommended making crime reduction priority No. 1 for the police, together with eradication of corruption and compliance with prescribed laws and human rights.

The two Parliamentary Caucus public hearings in Johor Baru and Petaling Jaya are incontrovertible evidence that the police have failed to keep crime index low to make the country safe for the people, visitors and foreign investors — with the fear of crime even more palpable in Johor Baru than in the Klang Valley though very real and widespread in the latter.

This losing war against rising crime is also borne out by police statistics – with the crime index worsening from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases in 2006, a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years when the police force had set the target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year!

The Royal Police Commission had in fact set higher benchmarks for the police, proposing a minimum of 20% decrease in each category of crime within a period of 12 months.

From the latest answer given by the Prime Minister and Internal Security Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to my parliamentary question, the country recorded a 8.7 per cent increase in the crime index between January and May this year as compared to the first five months of last year — with Kuala Lumpur registering an increase of 18.7 per cent and Selangor an increase of 13.7 per cent.

As the Royal Police Commission rightly pointed out, the Police cannot make any headway in “rebranding with a new vision and mission” unless it is prepared to have a mindset change starting by ending its denial syndrome that it has been fighting a losing war against crime and the fear of crime particularly in the “black areas of crime” in the country and that the Police must undergo a paradigm shift to transform itself from “Policing for Government ” to “Policing for People”.

  1. #1 by pwcheng on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 1:10 pm

    I think the whole country is in a mess, looks like we have no leader to give proper direction. Everything is just “Tak Tahu” and that is why the police who is being pampered with a special pay increase just could not be bothered about the plight of the people.

    Within the police force themselves, everything is also in a mess as judging from evidences from The Mongolian beauty trail which reveal a lot of mismanagement occurring within the police force. So if they cannot hold responsibilities among themselves how can we expect them to be responsible for the safety of the citizens.

    The only thing the police can show is their power mostly towards the innocent. Most of them are just corrupted to the core. It is a very difficult disease to cure as the government itself are not willing to wage an all out war against the police to weed out the corrupted and compelled them to move.

  2. #2 by silhouette on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 1:42 pm

    I can understand their reason for not attending the caucus. They fear that it will turn into a police bashing session knowing how low they are in the public’s esteem. If they have their gut some representative would have attended to hear what the public have to say about achieving some form of public security. Such is the condition of the force’s public relations that they prefer to keep away from such an initiative to help them to perform better.

  3. #3 by dawsheng on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 1:49 pm

    When IGP Musa suspected corruption practices was published by RPK in Malaysia Today website, the whole of police force is a big question mark. He must step down for the police force to function again.

  4. #4 by izrafeil on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 1:53 pm

    We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary soon, yet we are still unable to discuss or have healthy debate on many issues, the discussion on Islam for example, or the mature debate on NEP/bumi rights, all with ISA undertone for harbringer to public discussions, we cannot even have live telecast of our Parliament sessions. Its time the Government comes clean and be more transparent, healthy public debate must be allowed, I am sure with this we can forge ahead as one nation, one Malaysia as we rise above ethnocentricty perpetuated by existing regime.

  5. #5 by Toyol on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 1:56 pm

    Nothing will come out of this…nothing new here. If the report in Malaysia Kini is right which I think it is, how do we expect the crooks to protect us. The hearing is just for show. Time and time again we have been proven that this administration is just useless. Just how much more must we tolerate.

    The trial of the poor Mongolian girl’s murder has highlighted very serious mismanagement in the police force. Isn’t this under the purview of the Internal Ministry or Defence Ministry!!! Who is in charge? PM or DPM?

    To take out weapons and ammunition from the police force or military is not a problem, it seems, judging from the poor internal control procedures they have. Now you wonder who is running around our country with loaded weapons bearing police registration numbers! No wonder crime is prevalent here.

  6. #6 by sotong on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 2:09 pm

    The biggest loser from bad leadership and gross mismanagement of the country will be the bumi.

  7. #7 by Libra2 on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 3:00 pm

    We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary”.. said izrafeil

    What celebrations? What is there to celebrate? To me there is no celebration.
    This country is run by scumbags and it is going down the drain or rather into a bottomless pit.
    The administration, all the way down is one of impunity and arrogance.

  8. #8 by Sergei on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 4:00 pm

    Uncle Lim

    What Human Rights and Good Governance are you talking about.

    Abdullah’s national unity panel only consist of 11 non-bumis out of 55.

    NEP masih ada……

  9. #9 by Cinapek on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 4:00 pm

    It is no surprise that the PDRM still has this hangup.

    Just look at the recalcitrant attitude of the Deputy IGP when he tried to shift the blame for the worsening crime situation to the public in his response to the hearing in JB a few days ago.

    This denial syndrome is symtomatic of the top brass in the PDRM and going forward, the menace posed by this regressive thinking does not bode well for the country. His statement to the press completely misses the point. His head-in-the-sand attitude refuses to accept the fact that the absolute number of violent crimes committed in the country has gone up. He tries to justify that the PDRM is successful in crime prevention by citing the higher percentage of crime solved by the PDRM compared to Interpol standards. Even if they have solved a higher rate of crimes committed, the increase in crime rates means more members of the public are potential victims of crime and it is no consolation to a victim or their families after they have been robbed, raped or killed. The public are not a statistic but real human beings with parents, brothers, children, sisters, in short, families who will all be scarred for life should a family member become a victim of crime.

    Instead of coming out with positive suggestions of how the public can help the police to reduce the crime rate, they instead resort to blaming the public for their failures. For every “tak tahu” there are probably tens if not hundreds who are prepared to help. In the two attempted burglaries of my neighbours’ homes over the last one month, on both occassion, it was the public who came out to investigate and surround the houses before the police arrive. And in one of them, it was a member of the public who, though foolhardy, had the guts to enter the house to check if the burglars were still inside while two patrolmen and two detectives stood outside watching and entered only when they know it was safe. I know because I witnessed this.

    As long as they are not prepared to accept their shortcomings, no improvements will happen. Until the day when they have enlightened leadership, the rot will stay and get worse. What can you say when they do not even have the simple discipline to ensure that the traffic policemen turn up without fail to control the traffic at the seriously congested junctions. As they say, 85% of an organization’s problems are created by the management and this cannot be truer in the case of the PDRM. The management includes the Minister of Internal Security under whose ministry the responsibility for public security lies.

  10. #10 by jp23 on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 6:17 pm

    This is the 2nd Public Hearing, I am sure that by now ALL ON THE CAUCUS IS THOROUGHLY ACQUAINTED WITH what is happening on the ground I fail to understand how elected REPRESENTATIIVES have allowed things to reach this far. It is time now for a plan of action – there is enough of information, suggestions and even accusations leveled at relevant authorities and the MPs especially of the Ruling Party. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT TILL YOU HEAR FROM THE WHOLE COUNTRY!
    Thank you YB Lim Kit Siang and all responsible for the Public Hearing but please DO NOT STOP THERE.

  11. #11 by WFH on Thursday, 12 July 2007 - 9:55 pm

    To both the IGP and Deputy IGP, “PDRM” means “Please-Don’t-Rubbish-Me”

    Central to all the faults of Malaysian politics and power structures, is the complete absence of the all-important virtue of HUMILITY.

    Me, a simple rakyat, only seek within the powerful, the courage to admit to themselves that they are not infallible, that they should in all HUMILITY accept that weaknesses exist within themselves. If they seriously want to improve, they must put themselves down, from where they can only climb. No one can seriously and honestly claim to want to improve when they have already put themselves so high that there is no more room to move upwards.

    If there is no longer room to go up, they can only fall. If that is to be it, I say then, let them. I’ll be cheering.

  12. #12 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 July 2007 - 5:16 am

    The PDRM – the People’s Police? Tell me a better joke.

    PDRM is a law unto itself.

  13. #13 by Libra2 on Friday, 13 July 2007 - 10:11 am

    Cinapek said “citing the higher percentage of crime solved by the PDRM compared to Interpol standards.”

    This is how crimes are solved. They catch one guy or a small gang and then go on to say, “With this arrest, we have solved about 30 cases committed by them.”
    Going by this, they could just a few arbitrary arrests of some foreigners and bingo hundreds of cases are solved. Better then interpol.

  14. #14 by Jimm on Friday, 13 July 2007 - 3:40 pm

    When the top brass can always get away with corruptions, imagine those down the grade at grassroot level.
    Remember, the law enforcers eventually are the only one that breaks the law most without getting captured once.
    That’s why we need to outsourced the currency printing contract to a local company so that we can overprint the quantity to ‘feed’ the people.
    Well, data entry are carried by human. Human does make error.
    As long as the error is meant to be there then there are no error.

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