Relook salary, welfare of 137,000 policemen in the country to weed out rogue cops, says ex-MP

A former MP has urged the government to seriously look at the salary and welfare of policemen in the country as one of the ways to weed out the problem of rogue cops.

Former Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said the sheer number of criminal cases involving the police, including rape and corruption in recent weeks, was worrying.

“Stern action needs to be taken against rogue cops to reassure the public that they can rely on and place their trust in the Royal Malaysia Police,” she said.

“At the same time, we also need to look at the salary scale of policemen, and this includes looking into their welfare, including upgrading dilapidated police stations and barracks in the country.”

Chin said this in the wake of the growing number of cases involving policemen who have been implicated in various offenses – from rape to graft.

Last October, Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Razarudin Husain, said proposals for an annual and one-time salary increment for police officers had been submitted to the government.

This included adopting the minimum wage for lower-ranking officers, and a 30 per cent annual salary increment. Razarudin had also said that a 30 per cent annual salary increment, and a one-off increment for those in the management group, senior officers, executives, and lower ranking officers, had been proposed.

“One way to reduce corruption is to pay our force well, as it essentially boils down to having the means to put food on the table and being able to afford other necessities,” Chin said.

“We have 137,000 policemen in the country… the figure is not that big and it can be done.”

The current salary scale for a police constable upon completion of training is RM1,441 –which is lower than the RM1,500 minimum wage per month set by the government.

Chin added that welfare, including a proper working environment for police officers, should also be looked into by the government.

“Look at the conditions at the police barracks. At some barracks, the paint is peeling off, plants are growing out from the cracks in the buildings… The condition of these buildings must be looked into.

“If these were the conditions in your workplace, you will not have an enthusiastic group of employees. You need to take care of their welfare,” she said.

Separately, she said the government, through the Home Ministry, should also review the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) to ensure it was not a toothless tiger.

The IPCC was introduced to replace the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill that was tabled by the Pakatan Harapan government in 2019.

The IPCC Act, which came into force in June last year, states that the commission will be authorised to handle matters related to complaints and investigations into alleged police misconduct. It would also advise the government on matters relating to integrity in the police force.

“Under the IPCC, commissioners can listen to complaints into matters related to misconduct, but if it finds that the police had committed an offence, it lacked the authority to hold the police accountable,” said Chin.

“The matter will go back to the police, and we all know that nothing will happen. At the most, a rogue officer will be transferred to another department. This is why there was a need for the IPCMC that would address all this, but it was not passed due to resistance.

“This is the problem with our civil service. No one gets sacked. But if those in the private sector did the same, they would be fired,” she lamented.

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