Media Conference Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 21st June 2009:
What Malaysians need is not another look at the 125 proposals of Police Royal Commission of Inquiry four years ago but another Police RCI to address a very worsened crime crisis in the country
New Sunday Times today carried the front-page headline “Royal Commission Report on Police: Another look at the 125 proposals” together with more than two-pages of interview with the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
What Malaysians need is not another look at the 125 proposals of the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) four years ago but another Police Royal Commission of Inquiry to address a very worsened crime crisis in the country as well as to inquire what happened to the 125 proposals of the Dzaiddin RCI in the past four years.
I was quite excited at first that Hishammuddin had given long interview of what he is going to do as Home Minister but after reading its contents, I am most disappointed that Hishammuddin has nothing new or innovative to say as to how he is going to restore to Malaysians, visitors and investors their lost rights for more than a decade to be free from crime and the fear of crime.
Kudos goes to Hishammuddin as the first Home Minister to acknowledge that crime has got out of control in Malaysia, when he admitted that “many Malaysians did not feel safe in their neighbourhoods anymore with rising crime levels”.
Unfortunately, he is still in denial with regard to the radical police reforms that must be instituted if the Barisan Nasional government is to perform its most elementary duty, to ensure the safety of person and property of all Malaysians, visitors and investors!
No great purpose will be achieved by taking another look at the 125 proposals of the Dzaiddin Police RCI as the government and police had failed in the past four years to fulfill the objective of the Police RCI to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.
There were not only no progress in the past four years, there were serious deterioration in the three core police functions proposed by the RCI, viz: to reduce crime, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.
In the past five years, the Police had been fighting a losing war against a rising crime index, which worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 (which RCI described as intolerable and unacceptable as likely to frighten off investors and diminish the quality of life of Malaysians) to crash through the 200,000 crimes a year by 2007!
Police corruption had worsened over the years and police violation of human rights today are the most serious in the past five years, illustrated by rampant and blatant police abuses of power and misallocation of police resources, especially in arresting peaceful protestors for wearing black, light candles, sing birthday song while crime galloped on unchecked!
Tonight at the Klang DAP anniversary 3,000 people dinner, the police has withdrawn an earlier permit issued for DAP leaders to address the dinner crowd, taking the ridiculous line that Malaysians can eat but no speeches are allowed! Will the police cause trouble at the Klang Dinner tonight?
Who must bear responsibility for the utter failure of the police in the past five years to measure up to the three core functions outlined by the RCI in its 125 reccommendations, the key of which is the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) which remains aborted today because of the opposition of the police leadership?
If Hishammuddin is serious about key performance indicators (KPIs) which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is touting as one of the defining features of his premiership, the Home Minister must admit that the KPIs of the Police are a most dismal one when weighed against the 125 recommendations and three core functions proposed by the RCI.
Who then must take responsibility if not the Inspector-General of Police?
Is Hishammuddin prepared to go for a total revamp of the police service starting with a new Inspector-General of Police or is the culture of impunity and failure continue to hold sway in the Barisan Nasional Government.
I will propose to the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council tomorrow that PR give top priority to the runaway crime incidence and ensuring the safety of Malaysians, visitors and investors by launching a nation-wide campaign to restore to all their fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime.
Is Hishammuddin sincere and serious in calling for public support in the battle against crime?
If so, is he prepared for a start to support the formation of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on Home Affairs to focus on police, crime and security comprising MPs from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor