Restor­ing in­tegrity of po­lice force

Po­lice have shown their com­mit­ment to stamp out the abuse of of­fice within its ranks

New Straits Times - - News -

SPRING clean­ing of the po­lice force is un­der­way. The fed­eral po­lice ar­rested the al­leged rot­ten ap­ples in its bar­rel and has been lauded by the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC), which has en­cour­aged other gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies deal­ing with the gen­eral pub­lic to do the same. MACC calls it “cor­rup­tion risk man­age­ment”, and has, in fact, of­fered to train per­son­nel of all rel­e­vant bod­ies to ac­com­plish this so that all cor­rupt prac­tices may, ul­ti­mately, be elim­i­nated.

Al­ready, 16 po­lice of­fi­cers and per­son­nel have been ar­rested for com­plic­ity with or­gan­ised crime and were held un­der the Se­cu­rity Of­fences (Spe­cial Mea­sures) Act 2012. More will be brought to court as the cases are un­cov­ered. That the prob­lem is “per­va­sive” is tes­ti­fied to by those ap­pre­hended in Me­laka and Pe­nang. There was a swoop of six ar­rests on Tues­day which saw three high­rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cers re­manded in the Pu­tra­jaya Court yes­ter­day. Two dis­trict po­lice chiefs — from the Me­laka Ten­gah and Jasin dis­trict head­quar­ters — and an in­spec­tor from the state Anti-Vice, Gam­bling and Se­cret So­ci­eties Divi­sion were re­manded for six days.

That the po­lice of­fi­cers and per­son­nel nabbed in­cluded high­rank­ing of­fi­cers showed that or­gan­ised crime has a long reach and is def­i­nitely a cause for alarm. The thriv­ing un­der­world environment of com­pet­ing gang­sters run­ning a black econ­omy could un­der­mine not only the se­cu­rity of the coun­try, but also the econ­omy. Pen­e­tra­tion of the le­gal econ­omy can take sev­eral forms in­clud­ing ac­cess­ing le­gal projects as a money laun­der­ing ac­tiv­ity, pen­e­trat­ing the real es­tate sec­tor and form­ing crim­i­nal mo­nop­o­lies which will all af­fect de­vel­op­ment ef­forts neg­a­tively. Re­search on the Ital­ian Mafia has demon­strated this clearly, more so in coun­tries where the for­mal econ­omy is not ro­bust enough to with­stand the as­sault.

Act­ing with the MACC, po­lice have shown their com­mit­ment to stamp out the abuse of of­fice within its ranks. Only by do­ing so can or­gan­ised crime be crushed be­fore it takes root in this coun­try. And, go­ing by the in­volve­ment of those with hon­orifics at­tached to their names in or­gan­ised crime, it would seem that the moral val­ues of the coun­try al­ready counts for lit­tle in some quar­ters. Is it any won­der then, that to­day’s un­der­grad­u­ates are more amenable to giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing bribes as dis­cov­ered by an MACC study? In­deed, law en­force­ment is the pri­mary bas­tion against crim­i­nals of no mat­ter what ilk.

To re­store the in­tegrity of the po­lice is the first step in the fight against crime, gen­er­ally. This “spring clean­ing” of the po­lice force will hope­fully re­turn the peo­ple’s con­fi­dence in them as the peo­ple who have sworn to an oath to pro­tect and serve the na­tion with hon­esty and right­eous­ness.

That the po­lice of­fi­cers and per­son­nel nabbed in­cluded high-rank­ing of­fi­cers showed that or­gan­ised crime has a long reach and is def­i­nitely a cause for alarm.

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