In Defense of PDRM


July 17, 2013

MY COMMENT:  Yes, I agree with Alang that we have taken our Din Merican (2) Police Force for granted. I have a lot of respect for the men and women in Blue Black; in general, they are dedicated and friendly.

My friend, Inspector Jamil of Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, is an example of a dedicated officer. He and his team are constantly on the beat and he has his own Facebook by which he stays in touch with residents, and he is contactable via his handphone at any time of the day. He leads by example–he is caring and his team is too.Let us hope, his bosses reward him for his tireless work.

Bodily HarmBut for every good cop, there is an opposite number, the guy who makes a couple of bucks when dealing with traffic offenders, or beats up protestors on the pretext of carrying out orders from the top or bodily harms a citizen during interrogation.

I reserve my harsh comments for the top brash in PDRM who spend their time sucking up to politicians in power for selfish reasons, who make tough statements which are intended to scare the Malaysian public and whose orders have harmed peaceful demonstrators in the name of public order.Police Brutality Image like this one (right) worries me. It is time for the top boys to connect with their men and women and the rakyat.

It has come to stage for me at least that I experience cognitive dissonance about PDRM. I remember my days in Alor Setar in 1950s and 1960s at the height of the Malaysian Emergency. The men in green and the home guards gave their lives fighting the communist insurgency, and the ordinary cop was a family friend. As  a teenager then, I used to proudly sing Bersedia Berhidmat.

UMNO's PDRMBut today I am asking myself, is the Force my friend or my adversary. Bersedia Berkhidmat is a noble cause, but the question to me is bersedia untuk siapa (ready for whom). For the enemy yes, but not to take on the ordinary men and women on our streets who are trying to send an occasional message to the government of the day for failing to listen to their concerns.

With regard to the Special Branch, I can say that this PDRM unit is still among the best security apparatuses in the world. They are extremely good at what they do. Unfortunately, in recent years the Special Branch has deployed its manpower and other assets spying on opposition politicians, bloggers and civil society organisations. Maybe it is time the Special Branch reassesses its priorities.

We must renew that old spirit of cooperation between PDRM and Malaysians; we need each other if we are to succeed in fighting crime and make our neighbourhoods and streets safe. Despite blemishes, we have a Police force which can be proud of. I salute our men and women in Blue Black. –Din Merican

In Defense of PDRM

by Alang Bendahara (07-16-13) @http://www.nst.com.my

PDRM on paradeBACK in 2004, when I became a journalist and joined the New Straits Times, I befriended Mohd Fazli Ahmad who had just joined the Police force as a constable.

I first met him while he was doing his rounds at the Subang Jaya area where I stayed. He was on foot as he had yet to buy a motorcycle at that time.

Fazli was the first Policeman I befriended, but not the last, as I made many more friends with the men in blue in my nine years as a journalist.

I learned a lot of their hardship and sacrifices through stories by Fazli and other Policemen friends. Theirs was a story of unsung heroes. Thus it irked me to hear comments from Malaysians who belittled, ridiculed, insulted and condemned the Police force — a noble 206-year-old institution made up of about 110,000 officers.

Whenever there was a robbery, snatch theft, rape, murder, accident, missing children, looting or other vile acts done by human beings, Malaysians were quick to blame the police.

Yet most critics are ignorant of the full extent of the sacrifices made by these men and women who chose to serve the over 28 million Malaysians.Nor do they realise how they have taken the country’s safety, peace and stability for granted.

Stop for a moment and think if any of the following three sentences apply to you:

  • Forgetting to lock the the main gate of the house overnight but waking up to find nothing was stolen from your front porch?
  • Allowing your child to ride their bicycle to school without an escort, or going to the wet market with hundreds of ringgit in your expensive handbag?
  • Leaving your wife at home alone as you worked outstation, or leaving your beloved mother by herself in the kampung to work in the city, or confident enough to leave your expensive handphones on the coffeshop table?

Trust me, this sense of security would not be possible if the country did not have a powerful, dedicated and efficient Police force.

Despite working with a ratio of 1:500 or one Policeman for 500 people, our men in blue have proven their mettle in giving citizens the sense of security and setting themselves on par with security forces of developed countries.

This coming Hari Raya, Fazli, who is now a lance corporal, and thousands of his colleagues on duty nationwide would not be able to go back to their kampung.

Most Malaysians never hear stories like a traffic Policeman who stood in the rain to clear traffic and on his day off the next day, had to ask his son to help sort out traffic summonses he had issued before being able to take them out to dinner.

Or a Policeman on rounds during a day off forced to wreck his own personal car to stop a car used by burglars, and later found out his insurance company refused to cover for the damages.

Not many Malaysians realise that Policemen are on duty 24 hours a day, even during their day off, as they still have to go on rounds using their own motorcycle or car in residental areas to be on the lookout for thieves.

And forget about going for excursion trips to other states during their day off, as policemen are allowed to travel only within a certain radius from their station as they are always on call for emergencies.

If they want to venture out further, they have to fill up a form to get approval from their superior officer.

So forgive me if I label all Malaysians who make negative comments on the police force as an ungrateful lot.

Would you, an ordinary working Malaysian, be willing to sacrifice your day off or even restrict your freedom like these Policemen?

If the answer is no, then please stop making allegations against them, as the women and men wearing that blue uniform are human beings with feelings too.

They also want to be appreciated for the good work they have done to maintain peace and order, to give Malaysians that sense of security that made you able to sleep soundly at night in your home.

Should you feel like commending them, then write a simple thank you note during this upcoming Hari Raya for their service in keeping your home safe when you travel back to kampung and post it on the respective Facebook page of the police station at your residental areas.

Trust me, your police station does have its own Facebook page as they have been aggressively tapping into social media to engage the people, as seen with the Royal Malaysia Police official Facebook page that has more than 417,000 fans.

15 thoughts on “In Defense of PDRM

  1. My 30 year old daughter asked me ‘ Dad, were the police were as ‘bad’ 30 years ago’? I told her few examples (i) as MU student, I once forgotten to wear helmet after repair of motorbike (left at helmet at repair shop), stopped by patrol car down the road, IC taken away by cops and asked to pay, but no money so had to ride home (nearby) to take money to pay the cops, (ii) parked my car on emergency lane on a highway in Seremban to check road map and with emergency light flashing, patrol car came and cops said ‘tak boleh berhenti di Emergency lane’, argued for a long time but cop refused to let me go despite I asking them to issue summon, finally took out RM20 and the cops disappeared! 2 more similar incidences.

  2. This article leaves me thinking that the policemans union here in Malaysia has a lot to answer for. Namely such horrible working conditions that police are forced to tolerate, but could be easily eleviated with proper management. This is in no way an excuse for all the lazy, bribe taking, or plain criminal police.

  3. It is definitely a indefensible call. See for your self what is the purpose of placing 2 policemen sitting under a huge umbrella at the junction bordering TTDI and 1Utama when they are only looking at the handphone all the time. Worst thing was the police force are defending the rising crime rate as public perception. U can’t expect security will improve if they are in denial mode. Take the Kugan’s case, they still can’t trace the suspected police officer after weeks or month. This must be a joke.

  4. what else can you expect from NST? an article that has the journalistic standard of an essay written by a schoolboy.
    stop taking the people for granted who pay their salaries. we are fully aware of all the sacrifices made by the various forces in the past and during the emergency, we are extremely grateful for that.
    but, the police force is there for a specific purpose and if they are incapable to accomplish that then it is the duty of the people to complain and criticise them.

    ” this sense of security would not be possible if the country did not have a powerful, dedicated and efficient Police force” – Alang Bendahara.
    yes son, thats exactly what we don’t have and thats why we have to hire private security firms to safeguard our person and properties.

  5. True, Malaysians, demanding as we are, will need the police in emergency as well as in the prevention of one from developing. And generally the police has performed it job well despite the few black sheep tarnishing its good image. I salute them for their unseen sacrifices.

  6. There are always the good cops vs the bad cops. We must give credits to those cops who dutifully perform their task. But the many cases of brutality by the police on protesters and lockups have severely tarnish their image, coupled with the ever rising crime in the country have irked many. But again, the fault lies with the top brass, (who are not doing their job, but playing politics to the fullest) as the saying goes, the fish rots from its head Hence, the country will only improve with a total revamp, or nothing will change.

  7. There are probably more good cops than the rotten ones. My personal experience with the Malaysian police force has been pleasant, professional and nothing hanky panky. But that was when I was young and residing in Malaysia. Apparently things have changed, but then again, please look at their pay, the place they are provided as homes (no more than a cramped hot pigeon hole) whilst they see the giant castles that UMNO putras have. Now, Malaysia did not really take care of them, and obviously some have gone to the other side to take care of themselves. Our Government is to be blamed.

  8. Jalan Enam Kaki used to a small one lane kampong where my friend Dato.MN grew up. The CPO of that place was a corporal rank; small fish in a small pond as a OMO balai. Folks there pass time playing card games with small bets. Their CPO was among the players. We would burst into laughter when MN never fail to count the number of times his CPO kaki arrest him for ‘gambling’. The reason is he has to random arrest his friends to build up his record book. …………that was 30 yrs ago. Perhaps now Jalan Enam Kaki has a Sergeant with few constables as the crime has increased as well as traffic.

  9. We ought to appreciate the efforts of the genuinely dedicated cops who do give their best efforts to ensure security but the alarming thing is that they seem to be the exception not the norm. From minor traffic infringements to the more insidious bribery scandals among the higher ranks , most ordinary Malaysians seem to take it for granted that it is the status quo and not on assumptions alone but real peersonal encounters. And the fact that their remuneration doesn’t commensurate with the responsibilty and risks they take in their duties doesn’t help either. Especially the junior ranks who probably feel like glorified security guards with their take home pay .

  10. I was one of them,those long ago days,even then we had our share of Bad apples, but the politiking wasn’t so obvious then, now you are either in this camp or that camp or if you’re too straight, then you’d belong to the middle camp with no Top Brass to help or protect you, for sure all the stupid postings and donkey jobs will come your way, PDRM is in such a Mess that it’s no fit to call them PDRM, ( it’s the DiRaja ) that i meant.I have said so, a long2 time ago,so now I just sit and watch with disdain what’s happening to my former beloved PDRM, yes the officers like Inspector Jamil of TTDI as mention by Dato Din do exist,they are the straight ones,I sometimes pity them coz what they do really comes from their pride and honesty of being part of PDRM, but when the time comes for promotion, alas they’ll be left behind, been there n seen that.

  11. So much corruption. So much crime. Too many deaths in custody. Too many innocent people beaten up. Too many incidents of police acting as agents of UMNO. Yet we persist with the notion that the majority of our cops are good; its only a few bad apples that are causing all the problems. When are we going to face up to the unpleasant reality that our police force is rotten to the core, hopelessly incapable of doing its job and a disgrace to the nation? Perhaps the sooner we stop playing games with the truth, the sooner something will be done about it.

  12. The answers given have been professional and strictly by the book. But when the complain about your son by the neighbours is persistent then then you as a parent must act because your flesh and blood is acting inimical to your interest.

  13. I can see lots of internet cafes in Batu Ferringhi operating gaming machines… I can see lots of people collecting 4D bets and football bets at coffeeshops openly… heck, I can even see people gambling with domino tiles… but these criminals are all “protected” so I was told… so how can you expect ordinary semi-retired people like to us ever have any respect for the police force? Don’t blame us PDRM, look at yourself….

  14. A detective approached requesting permission to visit his home village to pay a visit to his aged parents. I signed his application. Unfortunately, come Monday, I learnt that he had demised due to asthma attack. Before the shock could register, my OCPD wanted to confirm whether deceased had obtained prior written permission from me. The man was dead! And all that this OCPD could muster was to confirm details! When the hat was passed around, he did not ask for it. Yes, there are such senior cops. Rare I admit, but they exist.

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