The Royal Malaysia Police is 200 years old on 25 March 2007. At that age, it must by now be a very matured Force, very wise, with a vast pool of experience and well established logistically. If I can use the analogy of a young man who has just joined the working world, he would have started off with a used motorbike as a mean of transportation, rented his living quarters, inexperienced in dealing with his surrounding and still trying to established a foothold in life. At 45, he would have his own car and house, happily married, full of confidence in dealing with the vagaries of life and fairly established himself in his particular vocation. At 60, he should be happily retired and no more installments on his house and car to pay. He is contented and well established by now, the younger generations come to him for advice with no worries whilst looking back on on his achievements for the last 60 years.
Is the Royal Malaysia Police, after 200 years of existence, that 60 year old retiree? Search your heart because only you can answer that question.
When I joined the police force as a probationary inspector 30 years ago, the 135 of us who were trained together carries only our Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, the Malaysian Certificate of Education or our Cambridge School Certificate. Heck! our senior senior officers in Bukit Aman then has only the STPM, HSC and maybe one or two diplomas among them. To become a police constable then, you only need the sijil PMR. But we still manage to carry out our work with our limited intellectual capacity.
Oh! yes, we were a tough bunch then, kasar, some even say uncouth, not diplomatic and very rough on the edges. We have never even heard of the words human rights. And don't forget, some of us kowtim a little bit on the side to make ends meet (gaji small ma!) and our balai polis was very fond of not accepting police reports, literally shuttling potential complainants from one police station to another. Our offices were old leftover colonial buildings, we used type writers and reports were taken down manually. OCPDs were only DSPs or ASPs and our motorised bit patrols were on bicycles. That was the Royal Malaysia Police 170 years ago.
Now, to become an inspector you must have a degree and to become a sgt you must offer a diploma. After 200 years, most of our offices are still old leftover colonial buildings ala IPK Penang and some of us have to buy our own computers to get police work done (they don't sell typewriters anymore). By the way have you seen any police bit patrols in your neighbourhood lately? OCPDs are nothing less than supt now, constables are degree holders and we have junior officers who are PHD holders. Some of us still goes around kowtimming albeit sekarang sudah pandai sikit cara cara mau kowtim tanpa dikesan. Cannot help it ma! Hong Kong police constables starts their pay with HKD 14,000 or RM 7000 a month lo! Our balai still tolak report and yes, we are still kasar and don't understand the meaning of civility. I have yet to enter a police station as a civilian and be greeted by the enquiry desk personnelon duty. Who dares scold me, I taiko ma! Polis Dia Raja Malaysia.