Saje nak ingatkan pembaca yang pandangan saya ini dibuat dan dirakamkan pada tahun 1998. Sama ada ianya masih valid atau tidak, sama-samalah direnungkan.
The computer branch has recently underwent a name change to the Information Technology Branch of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP). I will agree that a name change is due, to reflect on the increasing and widespread use of computers in every facet of police work and not mainly as a data storage device. Whether or not this name change mirrors the degree of sophistication required of the RMP to see to the successful implementation of it’s information technology policy remains to be seen. Personally I doubt it very much because nothing that I have seen or been involved with in this field, shows that the policy makers are really serious, committed or even understands what is IT is all about. I am not in any way casting doubts on the capability of the police IT personnel. They know what they are doing but unfortunately have a limited say in the final decisions regarding IT applications, etc in police work.
I once had the occasion of sitting down with our IT expert to set up our own CID D7 Criminal Database System and to my surprise was told that the police mainframes can only support a code based database management system that can’t support graphics. Any layman knows that photos and graphics are extensively used in police work especially mug shots of known criminals. How such a situation can be allowed to exists by the policy makers, when even my brother who runs his own company with a staff of about 500 only is able to have a text base database with graphic facilities with just two or three PCs standing on the office work desk, is beyond me.
A look at the IT equiptments allocated to my department in Bukit Aman has convinced me of the decision makers unawareness that information technology is not for show but to be actually used in the day to day working environment. The Anti Secret Societies, Vice and Gaming Branch keep records and photos of about 32,000 known secret societies, vice syndicates and gambling syndicates members. We also deals in thousands of reams of documents that needs to be manipulated daily. To bring our department into the IT age, we are given 7 dumb terminals and two PCs running on 486 chips, 4 MB of RAM and 100 MB of disk space. There is no scanners nor modems for manipulation of documents, not even a cheap colour printer or LCD projector for the countless presentations that we have to make. I do not blame the IT Branch for this shorcomings not because some of my closest buddies are from this branch but because I understand how their hands are tied.
From all this, I can only come to the conclusion that either the policy makers have no inkling of what IT means or they do not have the balls (apologies to the ladies in the policy making group) to stand up to the Treasury desk jocks (who holds the purse string) and tell them that either the police have what it wants or the Treasury can police the country.
This will be my shortest observation of the existing RMP management practices. In the Malaysian Police, logistics support means the following:-
i. investigation officers buying their own typewriters and stationeries to do their official duties
ii. paying from your own pocket for printer ribbons in order to prepare official reports
iii. running around in town begging for loans of audio visual equiptment for that impressive presentation you have to make to some foreign police officers
iv. asking your detectives to get paints and brushes from the neighbourly “chinamen” to repaint the office because the IGP is visiting and the Central Supply Depot says they
are just tendering for the paint supplies and then wondering why members of the force
v. being paid in late 1997 for the expenses you’ve have spent carrying out official duties
out of of town in 1996 using your credit card and then wondering again why members of
the force are corrupted
P/S - The RMP now has a separate Logistics Directorate headed by a Director Of Logistics with the rank of Commissioner of Police.