Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Media Statement: Ridiculous to restrict PJ auxiliary police unit ops

We welcome Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s historic approval of auxiliary police forces to Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ). However the restriction imposed on the auxiliary police to only the MBPJ building and the court complex is completely nonsensical and unbelievably ridiculous.

First of all, we would like to congratulate Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for being the first IGP to have approved auxiliary police force application from Pakatan Rakyat local council as he confirmed the approval of MBPJ application for auxiliary police force as reported by The Star today.

Looking at the rampant crime situation in Petaling Jaya, MBPJ has been proactively applying for auxiliary police since 2009 and the most recent application dated Jun 2012 was the third attempt and has finally been approved. We welcome the decision with open arms. However, we are surprised by the restrictions imposed on the auxiliary police to only MBPJ buildings and the court complex. We are further perplexed by his recommendation that MBPJ can hire enforcement officers as a replacement for auxiliary police to help with neighborhood security.

We cannot find the logic of IGP as such that the armed auxiliary police are to carry out their duties at MBPJ buildings and the Courts but the unarmed enforcement officers are to patrol on the street in the face of potential criminals who are often armed and ferocious.

We would like to remind the IGP that the reason of MBPJ applying for auxiliary police forces is for the security of the people in Petaling Jaya as there are not enough police officers on the streets. As of 2012, with a population of about 620,000 in Petaling Jaya, there are only about 1,300 police officers. In another words, each police officer here needs to protect about 470 residents. This police-population ratio of 1:470 is far higher than what is recommended by the Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) optimal ratio of 1 to 250.

Furthermore, it is not that we do not have enough policemen in Malaysia. We have about 110,000 policemen in total in Malaysia, which is equivalent to one policeman for every 270 Malaysian. This police-population ratio is close to the Interpol optimal ratio and surprisingly better than Singapore (1:396), Australia (1:342) and the UK (1:380).

However, crime is still rampant in Petaling Jaya and Klang Valley with the Sport and Youth Minister, Khairy Jammaluddin, finally became the first Minister from the Barisan Nasional to have admitted that crime is not a perception after his house get robbed. There is a clear misallocation of police forces both functionally across different departments and geographically across the states and between rural and city areas.

Perhaps, the IGP can tell us why the number of police in Petaling Jaya, if according to the national average, should be at 2,300, is now one thousand short at 1,300. Many residential areas in Petaling Jaya and Klang Valley are forced to take action into their own hands by paying hundreds of ringgit annually for private security barricades, boom gates and guardhouses.

Perhaps he can also explain to us why after 8 years Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) made recommendation to increase crime-fighting police to 22%, it is still merely 9% of the total police force today.

In the view of the acute short of police in Petaling Jaya and clear inaction from Bukit Aman, MBPJ had no choice but to apply for auxiliary police. MBPJ waited Bukit Aman for 4 years for the approval and now when it has finally come, the areas are only restricted to MBPJ buildings and the court complex.

In the view of public interest, we call upon the IGP to reconsider to approve MBPJ auxiliary police forces in full, of which they will be able to carry out their duties wherever the council finds needed and not restricted to certain areas only.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Home Ministry approval is necessary in the formation of auxiliary police force according to Police Act 1967 (Part IX, 47-50). Since 2009 a few local councils in Klang Valley have been making multiple attempts with no success to apply for auxiliary police forces to help to create the ‘omnipresence’ of police forces in the effort in curbing rising crime, which is also recommended by Najib’s Government Transformation Plant (GTP) National Key Result Area (NKRA) report on Reducing Crime.