ZAHID: ERA OF ‘PAU WANG’ IS OVER

DPM wants such prac­tices to stop to pre­vent bad per­cep­tion of force

New Straits Times - - News - KALBANA PERIMBANAYAGAM KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

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.”

PIX BY MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

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).

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