Friday 20 July 2012

86pc of cops busy with paperwork, spying activities, says DAP MP

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 ― Eighty-six per cent of the country’s crime busters are not fighting criminals but handling paperwork, “spying” activities and logistics, a DAP MP alleged today, citing figures from the Home Ministry in 2011.

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong revealed in a statement here that as of January last year, there were six uniformed police officers in non-crime sectors to every one officer tasked to tackle crime.

“Barely 14 per cent of the uniformed police force is in crime-related departments,” he said, referring to the criminal investigation, narcotics and commercial crime investigation departments in the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

“Meanwhile, a whopping 86 per cent of police personnel belong to the non-crime related sectors (like) management, internal security and public order, logistics, Special Branch, and special task forces,” he added.

He noted that the criminal investigation department (CID) made up only eight per cent or 9,346 of the total 105,929 uniformed police force.

“This means six times as many policemen are tasked with non-crime related jobs, than those who are fighting crime. No wonder we feel unsafe,” he said.

Liew (left) was citing parliamentary replies from the Home Ministry given during last year’s March sitting.

He also pointed out despite an increase of RM1.8 billion or 40 per cent in allocation for the police between 2010 and 2012, the CID had received only 8 per cent of the total budget.

The DAP lawmaker urged the government to prioritise police distribution instead of worrying over public concern, referring to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement yesterday that the public’s “perception” of security was more important than the actual crime rate.

“Police distribution is an important factor that has escaped public notice,” he said.

“There is no point to quarrel over statistics unless the Barisan Nasional government is willing to move beyond its own obsession with regime security and take measures to prioritise the safety of ordinary Malaysians.”

Earlier this month, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had alleged the federal government spent a whopping 71 per cent of funds for its Government Transformation Programme on public relations exercises this year instead of using it to fight crime.

The PKR president highlighted the Najib administration’s decision to spend a large slice of its 2012 Budget to boost public perception towards the police instead of helping Malaysians feel safer on the streets.

She also demanded the government redirect the police special branch towards fighting crime instead of spying on the public, citing parliamentary papers which showed that in 2010 the unit had used its manpower to produce reports on the activities of more than 700,000 Malaysians.

But despite the recent spate of assaults, robberies and kidnappings, the police, government efficiency unit Pemandu and the Home Ministry have held on to statistics showing that the country’s crime rate has dipped considerably since initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) were put in place two years ago.

Pemandu’s unit in charge of the crime reduction National Key Results Area (NKRA) recently held a briefing to allay public fears on the issue and released fresh statistics last week showing that the rate dropped again in the first five months of the year by 10.1 per cent.

It had previously released figures to show that index crime had dropped by 11.1 per cent from 2010 to last year while street crime dipped 39.7 per cent in the same period.

The agency even appealed to the media for assistance to help correct the public’s perception of crime, urging for more “balanced reporting”.

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