ZAHID: ERA OF ‘PAU WANG’ IS OVER
DPM wants such practices to stop to prevent bad perception of force
DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday warned that the era of fleecing money (pau wang) from the public was long gone and the ministry will not condone such practices in any of its enforcement agencies.
He warned enforcement personnel regardless of theirs rank to stay clear of corrupt practices.
“I don't deny there are a few bad apples in enforcement agencies who have brought shame to their entire organisation. But this must stop immediately as it gives a bad perception of the agency as a whole.
“It may have been the practice previously, but the era of ill-gotten money is over,” he said about the Malay slang pau wang, which means fleecing money from someone, to drive home his point.
In his speech at the Kembara Media Treasure Hunt prize-giving ceremony, Zahid also spoke at length on the culture of highranking officers asking their men to fork out money for events and all sorts of items.
The New Straits Times, which had published an exclusive report on the issue on its front page yesterday, exposed that such sponsorship demands had led to officers, who were hard pressed to meet their superiors’ demands, to turn to syndicates for help.
This newspaper had also published a screenshot of a WhatsApp message allegedly being circulated among policemen describing how district police chiefs had to entertain demands of their superiors.
Touching on this, Zahid said senior officers should not pressure low-ranking officers by making such demands.
“I saw the message allegedly from an OCPD, who blamed his superiors and the ‘culture’ within the force. It’s not very smart of him to give such an excuse to justify the immoral practices, if indeed it is happening,” he said.
Commenting on the NST’s front page yesterday, Zahid said he would direct the Bukit Aman Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) and the Bukit Aman Special Branch directors to investigate the authenticity of the message.
“The investigation is not on the messenger, but we want to find out the truth. We want to find out whether there are such demands and practices among officers.
“Besides, if such practices do exist, it should have been reported to JIPS. That is why JIPS was formed in the first place.”
Zahid said action would be taken if there was truth in the allegations that low rank officers were forced to find sponsors to please their superiors.
“We cannot condone this. Actually, JIPs was formed to prevent these actions and to oversee the integrity of the force.
“I got the idea from the New York and Florida police after a visit to the two departments.
“Back then, the New York Police Department was among the most corrupt and Florida, on the other hand, was the total opposite. To bring about change in New York, the police chief from Florida was transferred to New York and he adopted the same method to bring transformation and improvement.
“It worked. That’s the same method intended here.”
Zahid said he had also reminded the inspector-general of police, his deputy, department directors and all senior-ranking officers to stay away from any sort of corrupt practices.
“They should lead by setting an example to their subordinates to follow.”
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaking with New Straits Times Press chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid at the Kembara Media Treasure Hunt prize-giving ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With them are other senior editors of Malaysian publications.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi presenting the grand prize to the team from Bernama. With them is Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim (right).