Police force evolving, so are the threats

From equipping Malaysian policemen with the latest tools to ensuring strict discipline within the force – that sums up Tan Sri Musa Hassan’s view on the Royal Malaysian Police.

The force celebrates its 213th anniversary today albeit in a muted affair as policemen are among the frontliners combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

The police, joined by the army, are patrolling streets and manning roadblocks after the Movement Control Order came into force on March 18.

Regardless the adversities and criticism faced by the 137,000-odd personnel, Musa – the former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) who retired in 2010 – believes his former colleagues in blue are on the right track.

He shared his insights with Twentytwo13 last night.

“Today, we face Covid-19. In the past, we had anthrax and SARS, among others. Our policemen are well-prepared and have received training in CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear).

But you cannot compare the past and today. The threats today are different from when I was a policeman. There is no vaccine for Covid-19 yet. That makes things difficult. Indeed, the threats have evolved.

The force is evolving in the right direction but they need more equipment. The government should empower the police with the latest tools and gadgets. Policemen in China wear helmets that come with infrared cameras for temperature screening. The officers will then be able to anticipate if the individual has a problem (if his body temperature is hot) or not.

Musa says the government should empower the police with latest enforcement tools.

While we can equip our men and women, we need to also ensure they adopt strict discipline while in service. There will always be bad apples, those who will tarnish the image of the force. Thus the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) was set up (in 2014) to monitor the police.

The department must take disciplinary action against those who go out of line. If no drastic action is taken, no lesson will be learnt.

Senior officers must also set a good example and monitor their men closely. Monitoring is very important. It is something I stressed upon during my time as IGP. Everything must be done in accordance with the law and I enforced strict discipline. These ranking officers must also go down to the ground.

At the same time, the force must be able to connect with the masses. They should be service-oriented and be close to the public.

This is the first time we will see a muted Police Day celebration due to the MCO but the men must feel today is their day and be proud of it. Let’s get the job done and I’m sure there can be a proper celebration once the battle against Covid-19 is over.

I would like to wish all police officers a happy Police Day!”