Call for an end to a “headless
administration” and a new Royal Commission of Inquiry into police corruption
and police at war with itself with crime becoming as endemic as corruption
in the country
by Lim Kit Siang
The charging of the Commercial
Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Ramli Yusuff in the
Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court yesterday with two counts of failing to make a
full disclosure of his assets and another for involvement in business
which entail a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted has
raised the curtain for public view of something very rotten both in the
police force as well as the government.
It warrants an urgent call for an end to the “headless administration”
presently prevalent in the country in the past four years, as it is most
disheartening to the Malaysian public that despite the Royal Police
Commission Report and its 125 recommendations to create an efficient,
incorruptible, professional world-class police service to keep crime low,
eradicate corruption and respect human rights, the rot both in the police
and government have got worse rather than improve for the better.
The prosecution of the “RM27 million cop” reminds Malaysians of two
serious allegations about corruption in the police force -
• The allegation by former top
cop who was the country’s longest-serving Inspector-General of Police Tun
Hanif Omar in August that 40% of senior police officers could be arrested
for corruption without further investigations strictly on the basis of
• The Royal Police Commission Report in May 2005 which found that
“corruption is still widespread among police personnel” (p 9), recounting
the case from a complainant of a senior police officer who made an asset
declaration amounting to RM34 million but no action had been taken.
The Ramli prosecution has
refocused public attention on the problem of police corruption and
millionaire and multi-millionaire police officers – and the failure to
implement the recommendations of Royal Police Commission for zero
tolerance for corruption in the police force.
A question that is being asked by Malaysians is whether Ramli would have
been prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) if the CCID Director
had not been caught in a fratricidal warfare with the Inspector-General of
This leads to the second grave concern about the police force – with the
police at war with itself as well as with the Internal Security Ministry,
paralyzing a concentrated and an all-out war to keep crime low, the first
of three major recommendations of the Royal Police Commission.
With the Police at war with itself for months on end, it is no surprise
that crime in Malaysia has become as endemic as corruption in the country
– failing to achieve the Royal Police Commission objective to safeguard
the country’s reputation as a safe country for the sake of its citizens,
tourists and foreign investors with the immediate target of “a minimum 20
per cent decrease in crimes” within the first 12 months after the Report.
This target has not been achieved as the opposite has taken place.
The Royal Police Commission has referred to the “alarming” and “dramatic
increase” in the crime index from 121,176 cases in 1997 to 156,455 cases
in 2004, which registered an increase of 29 per cent in eight years.
Instead of reducing the crime incidence of 156,455 cases in 2004 to a
level “no longer alarming”, crime incidence is set to break the 200,000
mark this year – which would be a hefty increase of some 30% of the crime
incidence of 2004!
With the crime index increasing by leaps and bounds, proving that crime
and corruption have become even more endemic that during the inquiry of
the Royal Police Commission, it is shocking and outrageous that the top
police leadership is at war with itself with external agencies like the
Attorney-General’s Chambers, the ACA and the Internal Security Ministry
What is even more shocking is that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi who is the Minister for Internal Security had allowed such
fratricidal warfare to be waged in the Police Force for such a prolonged
period, undermining all efforts to create a world-class professional
police service to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and respect human
This was why I was so angry when the Deputy Internal Security Minister,
Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, trivialized the whole incident by giving a standard and
meaningless reply about the internal police warfare, when he had earlier
promised to give an informed, proper and satisfactory explanation to
Parliament and the nation.
Parliament and the country are entitled to know what is happening in the
Police force when its mission to keep crime low and root out corruption
have been gravely undermined by the internal police warfare, with the
Attorney-General’s Chamber, the ACA and the Internal Security Ministry
taking sides and making the Royal Police Commission quite a wasted effort
in terms of its three objectives – for the police to keep crime low,
eradicate corruption and respect human rights.
For this reason, I urgently call for an end to a “headless administration”
and establishment of a new Royal Commission of Inquiry into police
corruption and police at war with itself with crime becoming as endemic as
corruption in the country in the past two years.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman