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Full support from MPs
regardless of party for Musa’s proposal for salary revision for police as
it is scandalous that low-ranking policemen including those with diplomas
and degrees are living close to poverty line which can only spawn
(Parliment, Tuesday) : The new Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hitam’s proposal for salary revision for the police can expect full support from Members of Parliament, regardless of party, whether government or opposition, as it is scandalous that low-ranking policemen including those with diplomas and degrees are living close to poverty line which can only spawn corruption.
I commend Musa for highlighting the issue of low pay for the police but this must be accompanied by a singlemindedness to root out corruption and abuses of power in the police force – and the litmus test of this commitment is the speedy establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as it is long overdue following the recommendation of the Royal Police Commission that it be set up by May this year.
There should not be any bargain or precondition set by the police for the establishment of the IPCMC as this will be most ignoble and mercenary, tantamount to the police compromising with the highest police mission and credo to be a clean, incorruptible, efficient, professional world-class police service to ensure that Malaysia is a safe country for Malaysians and visitors to live, work and play by reducing crime and respecting human rights.
Musa said yesterday that 20% of the lower-rank police personnel have diplomas and degrees and that some of them even earn as little as RM650 when the poverty line in Klang Valley was RM1,500.
If this is true, the relevant government agencies, including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who had been in charge of the police portfolio for the past seven years, should explain their neglect of the most basic needs of the police personnel.
The last salary revision for the police was about 10 years ago. Just as DAP MPs and I had spoken up in and out Parliament in support of improvement of police remuneration before the last salary revision for the police a decade ago, DAP MPs are in full support for a new revision of police salaries so that Malaysia can be proud to have world-class police service – which must also be regarded as an important factor to enhance our international competitiveness to attract foreign investment, foreign tourists and become a hub for foreign students.