Govt to save millions via army-police collaboration

By Nelson Benjamin, Desiree Tresa Gasper and Yee Xiang Yun, The Star

KLUANG: The Home and Defence ministries are teaming up to help the Government save millions of ringgit in cost by maximising their resources.

For a start, under-utilised army training centres will be used to train policemen while retired army personnel will be absorbed by the police.

Also, a total of 1,200 petty criminals will be rehabilitated in five army camps nationwide.

The initiatives, under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak‘s Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS), were announced by the Prime Minister here yesterday.

“It is about thinking out of the box and promoting innovative and creative thinking.

“Previously, we had to spend on new facilities. Now, we can train more recruits and save costs,” Najib said at the launch of a community rehabilitation centre at the Mahkota Army Camp here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said other initiatives already successfully under way included the agreement between the armed forces and police on patrolling along the country’s borders.

“Now that the army takes care of the borders, police personnel can be redeployed to carry out street patrols, especially at the hotspots,” he said.

On cooperation between the Prisons Department and the army, he said petty criminals would be kept away from hardcore criminals.

“We will start with five such camps (for petty criminals) and we may add more as the need arises,” he said, adding that the camps would be located in Johor, Pahang, Kedah and Kelantan.

The cost of building a prison was between RM50mil and RM60mil compared with only RM4.5mil for the camp, he added.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Government hoped to channel the savings into other programmes.

Asked by reporters later on the selection of candidates for the Sarawak elections, Najib reiterated that the focus would be on winnable candidates.