Quality or Quantity? Both Chor Chee Heong and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi erred in police ratio


Press Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Home Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Chor Chee Heong had made a very serious mistake when they claimed that the police ratio for Malaysia was 1:3000.

One only needs to divide the Malaysian population of 24,000,000 by the police force of 80,000, to arrive at the figure for the actual police ratio, i.e.300. Unless Chor and Abdullah now tell us that we have only 8,000 police personnel in the country, the current police ratio can never be 1:3000.

Chor made another silly mistake when he told the press that his ministry has planned to recruit 23,000 police personnel over the next two years. Does he know by now that his ministry has only planned to reach that figure over a period of five years, instead of two years?

Whatever it is, quantity alone would not really help to improve the efficiency and professionalism of the police force. Only a dedicated and corruption-free police force could make the slogan" Mesra, Cepat dan Tepat"
a reality.

But a police can only be "friendly, fast and efficient" if he or she leads a dignified life. For a long time, our police personnel in the country, except for top brass, have not been getting a reasonable remuneration. The basic pay for new police personnel is only about RM700. As a new recruit, he or she cannot claim over-time but only be given a RM100 allowance for "long hour" service.

It's high time for the BN Government to study and review the scale of remuneration and the procedure of promotion for the police force across the board. A new and respectable scale plus a professional assessment for
promotion would certainly help to boost the morale and image of the police force, and raise their overall performance in the long run.

We cannot fight crime without a professional and corruption-free police force. It's the duty and responsibility of the Government to make this happen. One Canny Ong is far too many for Malaysians. We have a right not live in fear. What do you say, dear ministers?


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary