Policing the police


While policing the police has become a major concern, Barisan Nasional (BN) political leaders are of the view that the Malaysian police force suffers badly from a “negative perception” of being corrupt. They are of the view that the success and achievements of PDRM are often not highlighted.

Christopher Fernandez, FMT 

In the past, drug abuse was the most feared enemy of Malaysians. Now, corruption has become Public Enemy No. 1. What is worse is how Malaysians view law enforcement agencies in the country.

Malaysians are up in arms that law enforcement agencies in the country have become heavily corrupted and have a strong dislike for having to deal with these public authorities. They have come forward in droves to channel their displeasure through different paths especially social media.

Malaysians have the idea that corruption is now a very serious matter in this country. But once again, it is the Polis DiRaja Malaysia or PDRM that has topped the list of complaints lodged with Suhakam against law enforcement agencies for violation of human rights.

According to Suhakam’s 2012 annual report, of the 202 complaints made against the Police, Prisons, National Registration and Immigration departments, PDRM tallied a total of 126 complaints.

Inaction or no action by the police accounted for 44 complaints, abuse of power 43 complaints and use of excessive force 39 complaints. This is similar to the previous two years with 113 out of 156 complaints in 2011 and 125 out of 212 in 2010.

Suhakam’s damning verdict

The Suhakam annual report states that the complaints against cops were related to assault of arrested persons during interrogation to compel them to confess. This clearly shows the wanton and brazen act of power and position abuse by the police.

Other complaints included allegations of unlawful arrest which is re-arresting those who have been freed; extended remand by producing the arrested person in the magistrate’s courts in several districts; and complaints of intimidation to pressure those who complained against the police to withdraw their reports; and acts of biasness.

Owing to the gloomy findings of Suhakam against the police, follow-up measures have been recommended by the commission which is to fit every interrogation room with a closed circuit television, a doctor to examine the suspect before and after interrogation and for every complaint against an officer to be investigated either by Bukit Aman or the state police headquarters.

In the latest global corruption survey by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), the police and political parties are discovered to be the most corrupt public institutions in the country. This is according to the 2013 survey, which polled 1,000 Malaysians between September last year and March this year.

Respondents were asked to rate public institutions on a scale of 1 (least corrupt) to 5 (most corrupt). The police were rated 4 and political parties were rated a close second at 3.8, making PDRM the worst culprit.

It was discovered in this survey that 39 percent of the respondents believed corruption has become worse compared with 37 percent in 2011. However, 87 percent of those polled agreed ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Generally, the perceived effectiveness of the government’s action in fighting corruption has decreased. Even the perception that the government’s effectiveness in dealing with corruption has suffered, dropping to 31 percent from 40 percent in 2011.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/08/01/policing-the-police-2/