Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 8th July 2009 at 12 noon:
Hishammuddin should stop acting as Super-IGP to shield IGP Musa Hassan from public flak for police abuses of power in allowing galloping crime while channelling scarce police resources to side with BN in political cases
The new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is lately behaving like a Super-IGP instead of being a responsible Home Minister to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service to end the galloping crime in the past five years to restore to Malaysians, visitors and investors their two fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime.
Yesterday, he warned the PKR Youth “not to create chaos” at the Jalan Duta court complex when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial begins while three days ago he warned the Johore State Assembly Opposition Leader, DAP Johore Chairman and State Assemblyman for Skudai, Dr. Boo Cheng Hau that he would be investigated for the offence of “sedition” – just as the police had lodged a report against me during the Penanti by-election for the offence of sedition during the Penanti by-election in May.
In the past several months, the police have been dragooned from its first and primary duties to reduce crime and make the country safe for citizens, visitors and investors to serve the political agenda of the Barisan Nasional government, whether at the federal or state level, and one consequence is the worsening of an already very endemic crime situation in the country.
The adverse consequences of such diversion of the police from their proper anti-crime duties to become agents to serve the political agenda of the Barisan Nasional is best illustrated by the rising crime rate in Perak in the first half of the year.
Crimes involving robbery, car theft and snatching in Perak has leapt up in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.
Cases involving robbery increased by 197 cases from 541 cases in the first six months of last year to 739 cases this year which was a 36.35% hike.
Car theft from January to June this year went up from 55 for all of last year to 138 cases in the first six month period this year that is a jump of 150.91%.
Cases of motorcycle theft also rose from 2,287 in the first six month period last year to 2,398 in the same period this year (a 4.85% rise).
Snatch thefts rose from 195 cases to 268 cases in the first half of the year, that is by 37.44%.
The districts of Ipoh, Manjung, Taiping and Hilir Perak were where most of the crimes happened.
These statistics were given by the Perak chief police officer, Datuk Zulkefli Abdullah, himself although he attributed the causes to economic slump along with unemployment.
But there can be no doubt that a major cause was the inability of the over-stretched police personnel to focus on their primary duty to fight crime as they were dragooned in their hundreds to arrest Malaysians wearing black, lighting candles, holding fasts or gathering peacefully to protest against the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak by the Barisan Nasional – which the police should have no business to get involved to prop up the unethical and illegal Perak state government!
Of course, the most unforgettable public memory of the gross misuse of police powers and resources was the physical dragging out of the legitimate Perak Speaker, V. Sivakumar in Speaker’s robes in Speaker’s Chair from the Perak State Assembly on May 7 Day of Infamy in Perak by plainclothes police personnel!
Hishamuddin duty as Home Minister is to arrest and reverse the tide of crime in the past five years and fulfil the objectives of the Police Royal Commission to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service with three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.
He had started on the right footing when he announced in the middle of last month that he will revisit together with the Inspector-General of Police the 125 recommendations in 2005 put out by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police.
He pledged: “If there are proposals that have not taken off yet, we want to expedite them.”
The biggest failure of the police is its failure to reduce crime. The Police Royal Commission had found the annual incidence of crime of over 150,000 cases in 2004 as intolerable, unable to protect the safety of the people and likely to frighten off investors.
The Commission recommended as an immediate target the reduction of the incidence of crime by 20 per cent in 12 months after publication of the Report.
Instead of reducing crime, the crime index shot through the 200,000 cases in 2007 and 2008!
Another big failure is in not implementing the key recommendation of the Police Royal Commission to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Hopes that Hishammuddin will be able to conduct a meaningful second look at the 125 recommendations of the Police Royal Commission were very short-lived, as he backed off when he found opposition from the police headed by the Inspector-General of Police.
How can there be any second look, let alone meaningful second look, unless Tan Sri Musa Hassan, the person responsible for the failures to implement, both the spirit and letter of the 125 recommendations of the Police Royal Commission, is replaced with a new IGP?
A question I had asked in the recent Parliament, and suitably modified, is whether the IGP is answerable to the Home Minister or is the Home Minister answerable to the IGP!
Hishammuddin stop playing as Super-IGP. His role is to be an effective and responsible Home Minister exercising proper direction and charge of the police portfolio to Parliament and the Malaysian people.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor