Safe and Sound...


Written on 2/04/2007 11:37:00 pm by sikapitan

Honestly, sometimes the World around me is kind enough to provide me with enough ammunition to arm my most dangerous weapon (no, it’s not my charm) – my overanalyzing, overcritical mind.

I mean, just yesterday (Saturday night) as I was heading out to with Dan towards Kuala Lumpur I received a frantic phone call from my mom asking me to turn around, cancel my plans, and come back. I protested in vain, and half an hour later, I was told that my weekly excursions are no longer possible because (this is reaaalllyyy funny) at 8.30pm the same night, at a shopping mall in Subang (everybody knows it’s Parade), a bunch of robbers opened fire and managed to kill two guards before carrying away 12 trays of jewelries.

How that relates to MY situation is rather hazy, but here’s the logic: Because someone else gets robbed, or someone else got into an accident, it is certainly possible (though most improbable) that I would too. My mum said, “Even when you’re in a supposedly safe place like Parade, bad things can happen…what more when you’re out there at ungodly hours at ungodly (little does she knows…) places...”

I guess she missed out the important point here (or maybe it’s just me being petulant, and rebelling against perceived intolerance from a higher authority figure). The fact that BECAUSE it can happen anywhere, and anytime, makes it so unrealistic and illogical to say that the probability of risk increases as the night goes by.

I mean, I read of people getting mugged coming back from work during the evenings, kids getting into fights (samurai style no less) at school, a daughter being raped by their own father that I no longer think the old maxim “It’s not safe at night” or “Be wary of strangers” applies the way it used to.

This goes to show how bad Malaysia is heading in terms of providing peace and security to its inhabitants. Some readers might be saying, “Hey, we’re much better off than our neighbors…” and start thinking that I’m into dissing Malaysia all the time. I’m not, and because I really do care about the fate of our nation that I feel we shouldn’t always compare with others, and instead try to compare with our own expectations.

I believe most of us expect to be able to have a nice cup of the tarik at the mamaks without worrying of a bunch of parang-wielding men would come around and start relieving us of our precious money. I believe most of us expect to be safe enough in our own homes, knowing that a policeman is always nearby in case something untoward happens. I believe most of us expect our children to go to school in a safe environment, without fear of them being trampled to death by their colleagues. And I believe we all believe our expectations to be sensible.

So why should it matter if there are robberies everyday in Jakarta, or if they’re bombings everyday in Southern Thailand? We as Malaysians have our own expectations, and unfortunately, in my opinion, these are not being met.

I find it hard to blame any one group in particular. For example, people blame the police for the recent acquittal of 5 men charged with murder. Yes, the investigation was flawed, and yes it was conducted by officers who don’t fully understand the necessary criminal investigation procedure. But rather than blame the individuals, we should look at the bigger picture – why aren’t the police force attracting the necessary talents?

I mean, none of the graduates from my batch are interested in joining PDRM. It’s just not the most attractive proposition. The pay (although not as bad as most think) is just not good enough, especially considering the type of work, and most importantly, the tainted reputation. Honestly speaking, in my encounters with police officers, I find them to be quite dignified and professional, but imagine you telling your mom that you want to be a police officer. Saying that you’re a police officer isn’t exactly the coolest thing in Malaysia, isn’t it? Girls aren’t going to swoon over a cop.

It’s the same deal with government doctors. Honestly speaking, I just cannot imagine doctors getting paid less than business grads, but that is what’s going on in government hospitals. They are overworked and underpaid, so is it any wonder that the best talents in the medical profession choose to go the private way?

The solution: Review the pay scheme of the police force to attract graduates who are actually intelligent, modern, resourceful and not stuck in the old Malay mentality. The first few batches might not be up to the par, but after a while we may see the police force slowly changing from the inside as these early pioneers move higher up in the hierarchy.

On a more general note, PDRM should conduct aggressive recruitment style campaigns to attract jobless grads to join the police force with proper ads and marketing gimmicks. The images of old, ramshackle police quarters should be forever removed from the minds of Malaysians. Since there are so many jobless grads out there, there’s a huge pool for the police force to fish around. You might get a few ikan bilis in there, but I’ll bet there’s quite a few ikan terubuk as well.

Even the police admits that the police to people ratio should be 1 – 200 ( or something like that) which at the moment seems like Wonderland. More policemen (but not traffic police, as it seems like there are more cops out there looking for speeding drivers than those patrolling my neighbourhood) would certainly generate a feeling of security.

Until then, most houses are doing what my family is doing right now. As of last week, we officially have a guard taking care of the property, after yet another case of attempted house breaking. And for those of you who think I’m always overcritical, I reserve a special praise to the USJ 8 Police Station and its officers for managing to arrive at my house within 5 minutes of the first phone call. See, there’s always hope…

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed

No Comment

Post a Comment