Thanks to the report from the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Malaysian citizens are given black and white confirmation of what they have been suspecting for so long - that the country's police `force' comprises many crooks who had been doing wrong and harm to the public.
This includes colluding with vice groups, secret societies and drug gangs; bribe-taking, abusing their pre-emptive detention powers, violating human rights of detainees, non-admission of custodial deaths, interfering with the course of justice, accumulating unspeakable wealth, and extorting money from migrant workers among many other crimes.
No doubt that all the above crimes as compiled in the police commission report are only allegations but this does not detract from the fact that the Royal Malaysian Police owes all citizens a heartfelt apology for even allowing the force to be subject to such allegations.
Actually, these allegations made the police commission's report could be just be the tip of the iceberg. There have also been cases in the past where police have been directed by politicians to harass writers or journalists who were investigating the misdeeds of the state governments.
The Malaysian police force today is more feared than respected as the people's protector against lawlessness. Indeed, if the commission's report is any indication, they are an embodiment of lawlessness and a law unto themselves!
Without coming clean and showing sincere regret over their past mistakes, the police force will never reestablish itself as an upright law enforcer in the eyes of the citizens. They will forever be looked down as `cari makan' cops when they are seen performing their duties.
In addition, the government should make appropriate compensation to victims of the systematic police abuse if such allegations can be proven or if evidence exists to show such abuse. These include ISA detainees who have been abused and families of those who perished while in police custody.
Since the police chief consider the commission's report as `fair and balanced, it is hoped that the force will do the right thing in apologising to the Malaysian public as a way to redeem themselves as the public's paid servants.