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Reforms in police necessary to restore confidence

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Zulkifli Mohamed urges the police to seriously heed the recommendations of the royal commission so that they can regain public confidence.

The Royal Malaysia Police, as lead enforcement agency, must be aware that in New Malaysia they cannot escape from being subjected to close public scrutiny.

The recent furore arising from an “online gambling study tour to Turkey” involving several high-ranking officers headed by the inspector general of police testifies to this fact.

Patriot expresses its deep concern over the incident and views this as a sign of a rather unwelcoming development in the police. The once respected image of the police, which was reputed to be one of the best in the region, has now been tainted and public confidence towards the force is shaken.

The call for the hastening of the establishment of the proposed independent police complaints and and misconduct commission (IPCMC) may reflect this sentiment. Despite their strong reservation over the establishment of the commission, it appears that there has been no positive step taken by the top management of the police to enhance the level of professionalism and integrity of the force to justify this reservation.

The Royal Commission to Enhance the Operations and Management of the Police came up with 125 proposals to improve the force, encompassing areas such as personnel welfare, working environment, pay and allowances.

The establishment of proposed police complaints commission is just one of these proposals. Yet the public is keen to push for this single proposal. This may have something to do with their level of confidence in the police, and they cannot be blamed for this.

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Patriot agrees and welcomes the establishment of the independent police complaints commission. But it also believes that it should only be carried out after or along with the implementation of the other 124 proposals.

The top leadership of the police is strongly urged to take stock of the current situation and take the necessary measures to address issues that presently appear to adversely affect the image of the force. These range from improving the level of professionalism and integrity, training, technical and logistical support, legal protection and welfare of personnel, and leadership. These are measures that must be instituted – they are part of the 125 proposals – by the government including the establishment of independent police complaints commission.

The image of the police has taken a serious battering following the few recent incidents that cast doubt over the integrity of its senior officers in particular and the force as a whole. Patriot urges the police to seriously address this issue in order for them to regain public confidence.

Retired DCP Dato’ Zulkifli Mohamed is vice-president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.

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