The Malaysian Police Force, most of time being called as man in blue, are well trained with much emphasize on values and integrity. These individuals are willingly sacrificing their selves to safe guard the community and nation. They put duty a head of their family and leisure. Nevertheless, there are a handful few who do not uphold the integrity instilled in themselves, by involving in a number of activities especially corruption for self gain. This rare breed has tarnished the good names of the force. Otherwise, in totality these lots were the nation’s heroes who are there to keep peace and order.
Due to the rare cases of corruption involving a small number of individuals in the force, these lots were perceived to be corrupted without exceptions. When a traffic cop stops a motorist for traffic offences, he is perceived to trying to obtain gratification. Likewise, when there are activities or incidences of gambling, illegal lottery, punters, illegal road racings, house breakings and even drug users then again these lots were accused of being corrupt. Not many of the civil society blame the culprits but the Police.
The Police force themselves are to be blame for the misconstrued facts for not enforcing the law empowered to them. They seem to have not taken actions against many law-breakers. The public expects the Police force to wipe out crime, illegal lottery, loan sharks, prostitution dens, illegal massage parlours, drug pushers so on and so forth. Even though in reality, they have been successfully solving many crimes and illegal activities but in the eyes of the public they had not done enough due to the many criminal and illegal activities in the surroundings of the neighbourhood. There are still drug addicts loitering in the neighbourhood, there are thefts, house breakings, illegal road racings, prostitute dens, night clubs and karaoke with many immigrants while the force had been approved with addition manpower, upgrading of ranks of their personnel, new vehicles, new stations and even fund allocations. These new and additional resources did not commensurate with what they have done since.
One can see many banners and advertisements or even leaf-lets and fliers being hanged or distributed on loans with hand-phone numbers for the potential borrowers. The public perceive these advertisements are by loan sharks but the Police seem had not been able to apprehend them or they themselves are in the take. Thus, the Police force has no other choice but work harder to eradicate all these criminal and illegal activities.
The Police force must not only be effective in fighting crimes but must also be seen and felt really effective by the public. The public will only perceive that the force is effective if they feel safe, if there are no criminal or illegal activities in their neighbourhood and of course if the personnel do not involve in malpractices.
Sometimes back in late April 2010, the Inspector General of Police and other head of enforcement agencies on the initiative of the MACC had signed a pledge to fight the givers. Likewise, all the State Police Chief had done the same in their respective states. The MACC prior to the ceremony and subsequent to the signing of the pledge had announced through radio, television and print medias that they had launched a campaign in the fight against the givers. The public had been warned not to try to bribe the civil servants especially the enforcement personnel. However, there are not many news on the arrest of the bribe givers that had been reported especially cases of alleged offering of bribes to Police personnel. There had not been many charges for offences of bribery to Police personnel.
Check with the MACC showed that for year 2010 till mid June there were about 144 arrests made against the givers of bribe. The statistics showed that there were 38 arrests by the headquarters, 32 in Johore, 17 in Negeri Sembilan, 9 each in Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, 8 in Pahang, 7 in Perak, 4 each in Kedah, Penang and Sabah, 3 each in Labuan, Sarawak and Malacca, 2 in Terengganu, 1 in Perlis and none in Kelantan. Analysis made on the total number of arrest showed only 80 out of the 144 arrests were related to Police. 58 arrests were for bribery involving traffic offences, 9 were for trying to avoid criminal charges, 10 for drug related offences and 3 involving theft.
Surely the 80 arrests made related to bribery to Police personnel is not acceptable when compared to the total number of the force manpower which is around 800,000 and worst still when there were no arrest made by the police in most of the states. Are we going to say that there were no attempts to bribe Police personnel? Otherwise, the public is given no other choice but to perceive that the Police personnel are still in the take or corrupted. This fact can easily be confirmed by a simple survey from a sample of respondent questioned if they had ever offered or even given bribe to police to avoid being taken action for offences that warrants an action by the police.
In comparison, there were still many numbers of arrests against police personnel for offences of corruption. Till date, the MACC has reported a total of 45 arrests against police personnel for various malpractices. This shows that the police is not sincere in the fight against corruption. They were in fact not shown any indications that they are really serious in eradicating corruption within the force. They seem do not care if they were labelled as ‘corrupted lots’.
The revealed statistics shows that either the police are not serious in the fight against corruption or they were reluctant to arrest or report any offers of corruption for not wanting to loose their ‘corrupt’ incomes. This view is further confirmed by a recent exposure by the TV3 crew on granite Lorries alleged monthly payments of RM300.00 for a sticker that assures no action by the enforcement agencies which includes the police and the Road Transport Department. Many news highlights showed that the police only reports corruption when it conducts joint operations with the MACC. Without the presence of the MACC officers it seems there were no offers of bribe to them. There were only a significant number of arrests made by the police themselves against the givers of bribe.
The Inspector General of Police and the Chief Police Officers of the states have to issue directives to their subordinates to not hesitate to make arrest against any bribe givers. They even can make it compulsory for every contingent to make sure a certain number of arrests were reported monthly. The contingents that reports the most number of arrest against the bribe givers shall be given a recognition by letters of appreciation. Such contingents should also be rewarded with extra fund allocations for their welfare and enhancing facilities either to the stations or living quarters.
The police have no other choice but to report as many bribery attempts as possible to avoid perception that they were corrupted lots. Reporting attempts of bribery will give a new image to the police and the public will surely support the force in their fight against crime. The public has shined away from reporting crime or to tip off the police on any criminal activities because they distrust the police integrity. Further more when reports or information given to the police were not taken action and sometimes the informants were harassed by the criminals.
Police integrity and accountability is the utmost value that will ensure a wind of change towards the perception against the force.