More Police Power, says the NST Editorial

August 1, 2013

MY COMMENT: I agree, we in Malaysia are no longer safe. Law and Order hassayaantirasuah broken down. Crime is on the rise and corruption is rampant. Why more power for the Police? Power, to do what?  We have enough laws but we lack the political will to go after drug bosses and hardened criminals, and fight corruption. For that, we need a well equipped and disciplined people-centred Police Force that has not compromised itself. There is no point wearing the Anti-Corruption badge, if corruption in the Force from top to the street cop is apparently quite rampant. –-Din Merican

More Police Power, says the NST Editorial

Shootings appear to have become a pernicious assassination modus operandi

MALAYSIA in the last few months is looking less than that safe haven that Malaysians come home to. A place where, generally, people are free to move without fear of being attacked, let alone shot dead in broad daylight. A snatch theft, sometimes resulting in death, used to be of great concern as the violence increased. But no longer. In the last three weeks, in Penang alone, five shooting incidents occurred, several of them fatal. In April, a senior Customs official was shot dead on his way to work. The case is yet to be solved. More recently, the head of an anti-crime watchdog group was shot in Seremban. He is fighting for his life. The latest incident involved the first chief executive officer of AmBank, who was gunned down in Kuala Lumpur in broad daylight, killing him and injuring his wife.

khalid-abu-bakarAnother high-profile fatal shooting amid a spate of shootings involved even a teacher and a youngster, and it seems like it is happening all over the peninsula: Penang, Kelantan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. These latter victims seem too innocuous to warrant such aggression, which naturally leaves every Malaysian concerned for their own safety because nobody can confirm why all this is happening and tell the public to calm down because small fries do not matter. And, what about the large cache of firearms seized recently in Kelantan, where apparently guns are for hire. It seems to have arrived at the point where every crook can become a hired gun.

The Prime Minister promises to get tough and act to stem serious crimes. This will be brought up in the next parliamentary sitting, aiming to strengthen police powers, enabling them to act accordingly against such criminals. An important caveat here is: how is police brutality preventable? Another possible cause of the rampant rise in serious crime is the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) some two years ago which poured more than 2,000 hardened criminals, including drug bosses, back into society without proper measures being put in place to curb them. However, the bill to replace the EO is already with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and has high priority given that danger is ever present. Meanwhile, the Police — uniformed and intelligence — should be ever present, everywhere. A uniform walking around is a deterrent to the petty criminal, but organised crime needs the presence of the plainclothes, undercover agent working the vice grapevine. Armed police personnel are the short cut solution, but as the arguments go, this poses the danger of an armed backlash from the criminals.

10 thoughts on “More Police Power, says the NST Editorial

  1. Din, can’t believe you still read essays written by schoolboys and treat them as news! You must be bored! Go listen to some of your favourite music.
    It is a matter of opinion. I read all kinds of stuff and share them with you and others. This is the first complaint I got on what I put on my blog. I am never bored because I try to read between the lines. I know the NST is pro government but I think we should listen to what the government is saying via the controlled media.–Din Merican

  2. Pernicious! Looks like this rag of a newspaper certainly knows how to use a dictionary. How about widespread or rampant or perfidious? Or maybe just plain ubiquitious?

    Crime is staring people right in their faces on a daily basis and the NST has a way to treat it as one would a speck of dirt.

    And don’t be taken in by the EO thing and how it will help make us safer. That reason is the last thing in their calculations. The EO is quite a lucrative way for some to make money. Plenty of it. Just like the AES, APs et al.
    Hence the sudden interest in highlighting every shooting, snatch theft, robbery etc where previously they were only notions in our noggins. I mean perceptions.

  3. Its been only months since the EO has been removed (changed actually). Yet now these groups have reacted swiftly to reinstall something in replacement. What the real issue is that Najib’s attempt at any change is being constantly fought back be it about crime and police, economic, social, religo.. NOTHING HE HAS DONE IS PERMANENT..In other words, 4 years into his administration – everything including the GDP growth that is largely because of China and financial engineering are TEMPORAL i.e., fleeting, not permanent – they can all dissappear at any time..

  4. Another load of hogwash by NST, the licensed mouthpiece of the ruling coalition called BN.

    Yeah, reviving the EO for what? To enrich the already rich and mighty? Don’t the morons in Putrajaya know that there are enough laws enacted to curb crimes? Why do we need more?

    But can we blame them when you have idiots who find a dog trainer’s antics offensive.

    This country has gone to the dogs, literally.

  5. Din

    Whenever I come to Malaysia I stay in a hotel where there is a team of Indian maintenance technicians. I have become quite friendly with one of them and he tells me the hidden background scene with the Batu Cave criminal structure. You won’t believe this throughout the country the Police are in cahoots with these organised criminal Indian syndicates.

    These syndicates provide protection to politicians, rich tycoons, race horse owners and gamblers. With the involvement and participation of corrupt Police personal –quite high ranking too– these syndicates are mandated by the corrupt Police to act as intermediaries in disputes with the tacit threat of the blue uniform for any non adherence to the agreement reached set by the "mediator&quot. Big money is involved and all these deaths in custody of Indians are instituted by the rival gangs. Criminal syndicates do not kill. They call upon the their Godfather/s in the Blue Uniform to do the job for them.

    These are horrifying tales of Al Capone style. My honest take is the country is beyond redemption with the fight against crime, like Thailand, Philippines and even India.These organised criminal syndicates working hand in hand with the corrupt enforcement officers are the greatest threat to your Muslim religion, for their deviant behaviour does not respect the law nor the tenets of any religious faith. The cancer cell has dug deep into the very marrow of the nation.
    Anakrakyat, if that is the case, our Police will not able to get the mastermind of the Hussain Najadi murder. Scary indeed.–Din Merican

  6. Actually the only power I would really give the police is the power to shoot bad guys.. Which incidentally they already have. For a law abiding citizens, living in an environment of rising serious crimes, I have no concerns over shooting of bad guys. To me its a better policy than arresting people who refuse to earn an honest living and ask me as a tax payer to pay for their food and lodging. To me, in times like this, I really do feel excessive force is the only way to combat serious crimes. The shoot first ask questions later can be abused. But law abiding citizens need not worry. By law abiding citizens I don’t mean underage kids driving a car. I don’t mean mat rempits racing down the highways and I certainly don’t mean low level thugs in motorcycles roaming in packs looking for a quick fix. I say “WAR ON CRIME” and “BRING IT ON”. The only power I give is. Shoot bad guys first ask questions later. As immoral as it is, I don’t want to be a victim of a shooting. I don’t want people I know to be a victim. If excessive force is the only way so be it. Yes criminals may up their firepower, a tit for tat response but what other options do we have? Criminals use guns, police use words?

  7. Oh and if people are really serious about fighting crime, they really ought to pay more attention to fixing the police force then trying to defund it. I know they are not perfect, but short of calling in the army, they are the only thing that stands between the good and bad guys. Help them. Encourage them and support them. They are not perfect but they are the tools at our disposal. Instead of disagree with everything, why not start discussions with, “I see your point of view, but may I suggest…”. And they resist, instead of saying “abuse of power” say “if I’m in your shoes I wouldn’t want someone watching over my back. But in exchange…”. Malaysians are so negative these days that they only ever look at the bads and ignore the goods. They only ever criticise but never offer solutions. They always resist but never work towards a compromise.

  8. Your are damn right DDM. May I add that the MACC is also in cohort or has no political backing. As the saying , gone to the dogs, is the verdict. The only salvation is political will ,of which there is a shortage.

  9. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    When the police were given wide-ranging powers to do as they like, without the scrutiny of a watchdog body (the court or some other bodies to check them), they not only become a liability to society but also a stumbling block unto themselves.

    Basically, the training of the police harked back to the days of the Emergency when they had to use draconian laws like the ISA, the OSA, the Sedition law, Printing Presses and Publications Act to do their work. Then, the police were acting for the public good. But soon they were roped in by the Mahathir regime to use these laws to go after those who opposed them. Since the end of the Emergency era (strangely, the Emergency has still not been abrogated), the training of the police had not progressed at all to deal with the requirements of a civil society. So when it comes to solving crime, they tend to use the same crude method without regard to veracity. Whether a suspect is guilty or not, he has to go through humiliations and torture (physically and mentally) of fitting into what the police would like to hear in order to be coaxed out with a confession. For those who could not bear the torture or threatened with infinite incarceration, they succumb; but for those who insist on their innocence and refused to confess, they were beaten to death. That explained why every year there were many unexplained death cases in police custody. The modus operandi of a police investigation was laid bare before the world during the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, where torture and turning-in of the victims were the staple of the police’s success in extracting confessions. All they are interested in was not the truth but to merely bolster and pad up the statistics.

    Having so much powers and given a blank cheque by the Mahathir regime to use them as they like with impunity, the police became very lazy, pompous, arrogant, corrupt, self-seeking and power crazy. Soon they became a power unto themselves. They do not have to answer for their methods and actions. They have the prerogatives, like the Attorney-General, on what to pick and choose to act on a report of crime. With this power of dispensation of life and death, the police found it very lucrative to veer into the netherworld of crime. Their liaison with crime lords had been a hot subject of conversation for years among those are in the pulse of awareness, but these were suppressed in the mainstream of society due to the power of intimidation and the use of the Sedition Act and OSA. Nevertheless, the rise of serious crime increased when the police have unfettered powers like the ISA and EO to check them. But they do not use these laws with responsibility. With an eye on the main chance of accumulating filthy lucre, they became the broker and protector of the crime lords’ empires.

    The argument that the police need more powers to tackle serious crime does not not wash with the public who are wary with a runaway train. Just a mere 3 months ago, the Home Minister and the police painted a rosy picture of how safe the country was, and the statistics were quickly drawn up to show that crimes actually reduced. But this was only a chimera for the purpose of the GE13. Now the tone was dramatically the opposite. Then just last week, there was a spate of attack and shooting and the police did nothing but to orchestrate for the clamor of more powers and laws. The sudden spurt of shooting in just one week is very suspected of the police ulterior motive.

    There are enough laws to tackle serious crime; only the police need to beef up their training on modern crime prevention and not to rely on crude methods of the emergency era. Let not the police become a goon squad of a corrupt regime but a servant of civil society. Then only will they earn the respect that they so hungrily hankered for.

  10. Salam, YBhg Dato and Datin Dr Kamisah, here’s WISHING you both a Barakah Selamat Hariraya Eidulfitri 1 Syawal, 1434. Semoga puasa dan Amalan Ramadhan semua ummat Islam diterima Allah SWT. Maaf zahir dan Batin, selamat balik kampung if you are planning to travel and have a joyful silaturrahim time!

    Let’s all say a prayer too for Bernard `Zorro U’ Khoo and his family. May they be strong in the face of adverse times with the BigC. We live in great Medical breakthrus, InshaAllah he will be better. My aunt licked hers.

    Thank you for the bounty of mind jogging and mental charging and reading journeys and delights coming my way from your writings for the past few months.

    May Allah Always Shower you both with good Health and ever refreshed memory bank to benefit us all for years to come!
    Wassalam from SHAKIRIN ALIKRAM
    Shakirin, We thank you for good wishes. Also thanks for your comments. I enjoy reading them and when appropriate I will respond. I like the mental exercise of exchanging views and ideas, based on disagreement without being disagreeable. Salams.–Din Merican

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.