LETTER | It was touching to read the words of Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador: “It pains my heart. I am filled with sadness when I listened to how the victims, more often than not foreign workers, losing their hard-earned money to these ‘uniformed robbers’. I am tough on all offenders, and they should know that crime does not pay.”
These indeed are the words of a tough, but compassionate cop who feels the heartbeat of the ordinary man. The pain and righteous anger that the IGP describes is something that we at Tenaganita can acutely relate to, having to interact regularly on a personal level with migrant workers who have been mercilessly robbed and extorted of their hard earned meagre wages.
It is indeed unfortunate that a small percentage of “rogue cops” have succeeded in badly tarnishing the image of the police force. That is why Tenaganita has always supported the establishment of the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), which can play an important role in maintaining the reputation and professionalism of the Royal Malaysian Police.
In this regard, I would like to suggest that the IGP commissions an independent survey of a sample group of migrant workers, both documented and undocumented, to establish what percentage of them have had the experience of being extorted or robbed by uniformed personnel. This survey could be repeated annually for a few years to study trends in the experiences of migrant workers with the police.
With a functional IPCMC and with a humane and professional IGP at the helm, we are confident that the Royal Malaysian Police will distinguish itself as a highly competent and efficient force, performing its duties with integrity and without fear or favour to anyone.
JOSEPH PAUL MALIAMAUV works at Tenaganita, a human rights NGO which promotes and protects the rights and dignity of migrant workers and refugees.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.