GEORGE TOWN: Policymakers need to push ahead with the implementation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to curb corruption in the police force.
Universiti Sains Malaysia crime and policing research team head Associate Professor Dr P. Sundramoorthy said IPCMC’s establishment could ensure a peaceful and safe Malaysia.
He said the recruitment of police personnel, particularly in the subordinate ranks, needed to be thorough in weeding out potential “dirty” cops.
His comments followed Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador’s statement that corruption among police could be addressed by increasing their salaries so that the risk of corruption could be reduced.
Hamid had said besides salaries, logistics and other requirements of lower-ranked personnel should be given priority to boost the integrity of the force.
“In the police subculture, corruption and other police misconduct must be stigmatised and rejected,” Sundramoorthy said.
“Corruption must be viewed as a taboo by all police officers.
“Since Hamid fully backs IPCMC’s implementation, the people, together with responsible police officers, are more than ready to support it.”
He said police corruption stemmed from the low salaries of most police officers, especially the rank-and-file personnel.
He said their low salaries did not commensurate with the wide discretionary power and authority available and given to them.
“More importantly, ineffective internal accountability and weak external accountability have failed to curb corruption in the force. The seduction of corruption becomes too hard to resist if the salaries of the rank-and-file police officers are not enough to take them beyond temptation and individual needs.
“This is especially true in a poor, frustrating and non-conducive working environment.
“Furthermore, the opportunity cost of being detected, apprehended, prosecuted and punished for corruption is low in our criminal justice system.”
“All is not doomed yet as long as the leadership in the police force and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission come down hard on those with ill-gotten income and assets from criminal elements and crime syndicates.”
He said a punishment-reward based system was essential.
He said the accountability and high levels of professionalism among all ranks would bring back public confidence and glory to the police.
He said no other government agency could be equated to the police because of its legal empowerment of curtailing liberties.
“The public hold liberty dearly and its curtailment is seen as a violation of civil rights and democracy. There are many such complaints of irregularities and corruption and it is no longer a secret
“Many responsible police officers have raised issues on the practice of recruitment, promotion, postings and transfers. They alleged it is based on favouritism and cronyism. Other means are also used by the corrupt to move up the career ladder.
“As such, the reform agenda must address many of the allegations and push the culture of meritocracy in the force.”
Source : News Strait Times Online
Date : 18/06/2019