Sunday, 12 August 2007

Ke Mana PDRM? - Bahagian III

Saje nak ingatkan pembaca yang pandangan saya ini dibuat dan dirakamkan pada tahun 1998. Sama ada ianya masih valid atau tidak, sama-samalah direnungkan.

Staff Welfare

he RMP has a body called the Police Social, Sports And Welfare Fund (TKSS) and the Cawangan Kebajikan which ostensibly is to look into the welfare and recreational needs of members of the force. The success of this body in carrying out this function can be seen from the following examples.

Accident In Bosnia
In mid 1997 two officers, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and an Inspector, serving with the UN Mission in Bosnia was involved in a traffic accident. Both were seriously injured and warded at the local Bosnian hospital. The wife of the DSP is working in the private sector while the Inspector’s wife, is a civilian staff serving with the Malacca Police Contingent.

To show its compassion, the TKSS denied the Inspector’s wife appeal for monetary aid to visit her seriously injured husband in Bosnia. How much does it cost for a return flight ticket to Bosnia if funds can be spend on PERKEP (an association for the wives of police officers) activities. The private firm where the DSP’s wife is working for, in contrast to the police example of a caring organisation, paid for the full expenses enabling the wife to be by her husband’s side in Bosnia. Unfortunately both officers later succumb to their injuries.

A Simple Hospital Visit
Sometime in October 1996, my daughter Amira went for an appendics operation at the Assunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya. As per standing instructions I duly informed the proper police authorities of my daughter’s 7 days hospitalisation. The police force Welfare Branch is supposed to arrange hospital visits to members and family members of the force who are hospitalised as a show that the police takes care of its own. Sadly, in another show of police welfare, no one from the police force visited my daughter.

Yet almost all of my wife’s department staff, including the department’s head, dropped by to see my daughter. What do you tell a 14 year girl when she looks at you wondering why no one from her dad’s office came visiting in spite of the countless times her dad was seldom at home in the service of the force. Is a simple hospital visit too much to asked of the force? There is one thing I cannot understand until today. Why was it that when the wife of the former Deputy IGP, XXXXX , was on her deathbed, officers are ordered to recite the surah Yassin by her side on rotation but they can’t afford a simple hospital visit to make a young girl proud of the organisation that her dad is slaving for. The difference is rank, maybe.

Disciplinary And Grievances Procedures
Fairness is the cornerstone of any human dealings and transactions. No where is this of paramount importance than in the administration of laws and regulations governing human conduct. Fairness in the country’s justice system can be seen through the Criminal Procedure Code which ensures that an offender goes through a fair and just trial (although most of the time the system is fair to the offender but not to the victim) and the Penal Code which lays out the minimum and maximum sentences that can be meted out by judges to convicted offenders. As long as the offence is similar in nature, it does not matter who sits in judgement as the offender can expect the same punishment within the limits laid out by the law.

The Police Act by listing down about 80 offences that can be committed by a police officer and the General Orders Chapter D which sets out the disciplinary procedures and the form of punishment that can be meted out for a breach of discipline, governs the conduct of the “average” police officer. Both unfortunately are silent on the limit and type of offences the punishments are intended for. It is here that too much of a leeway has been taken by whoever holds the post of the Royal Malaysia Police disciplinary master. For what other explanation is there for the different punishment handed down to different officers for similar offences committed.

A check with the Disciplinary Branch of the Force will reveal countless cases of officers discharge from the service for losing their service weapon while others are let of with a warning. Or how about the case of Inspector XXXXX (service branch concealed to protect the family), who as an inspector was charged in court, discharge and accquited and very soon after promoted to the rank of ASP and now is a DSP. Where else another who through the proper Islamic procedures gets a second wife is dismissed from service for not obtaining the Force permission. This apparent irregularity may seem small but bear in mind that the Tsunami is nothing but a collection of millions of ripples fanned by the seismic undercurrent of a seemingly calm sea.

Although the above oversight lies in the Police Act and the General Orders Chapter D, for an organisation stuffed to the brim with lawyers, it is a sad day for the legal profession when none can see the need to overcome such shortcomings in the interest of justice and fairness. As to the grievances and redress procedures as implied in the title of these paragraphs, nothing can be said about it because the Royal Malaysia Police has no such words or is not aware of the existence of such words in its management vocabulary.

“Cepat Dan Betul”
Action speaks louder than words. The Malaysian Police has never been short on words as volumes of the Inspector General Standing Orders, Regulations and Circulars will attest to. The only problem lies in the implementation of such “words”. Speaking of words and its subsequent action, “Cepat Dan Betul” or “Fast and Accurate” (according to Bahar’s unofficial English translation) is the current police motto chosen to reflect the police’s committment to provide the public with service that is correct in law and procedures in the fastest possible time.

I have no opportunity as yet in obtaining feedback from the general public on whether there is a sudden leap into warp drive by the police in attending to their (public) woes. But from the little that I know, the investigation officers on the ground especially in the four districts of Kuala Lumpur are going at breakneck speed trying to complete their investigation or IPs (investigation papers), and how fast can you go when each investigation officer handles an average of 6 investigations per 24 hour duty rotation i.e. 90 investigations a month?

If Police HQ at Bukit Aman is the yardstick to judge the success of implementing the motto, it would most probably take a decade before we can even pick up momentum. Accuracy aside, how fast is fast when a fax message received on the 11th floor (the CID Director’s office) takes one whole day to be delivered to the intended recipient on the 7th floor (office of CID D7). And do not be surprise if the Police announced that they have already broke the speed record of the Malaysian Postal Services, for taking one week to deliver letters or inter-departmental memos from the registry office on the 4th floor to the intended departments in the same complex.

I cannot see any other reasons why the police force is not yet sprinting as the motto “Cepat Dan Betul” intended except for the likelihood that nobody in the entire police department understands the meaning of the words “Cepat Dan Betul” and therefore does not see it fit to teach those who doesn’t and two, the logistics experts in Bukit Aman are still in the process of understanding that logistical support is essential in ensuring that work can be done fast and accurately.

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