July 17, 2013
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.
But 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. 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.
But 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
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.