Eliminating elements of corruption is a priority and the first step in strengthening the police force, says Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador.
He said that what he wants to do now that he has been appointed to helm the force is to create awareness among the officers that corruption is a major sin.
"This is because the police are given responsibility. The power given to the police is holy; if any member of the police is involved in corrupt practices, it is a major sin.
"As such, I want to explain to members of the police force at all levels that there must be an awareness that whatever is gained in a wrongful manner cannot be given to any member of the family,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama at Bukit Aman.
Hamid said he was determined to create awareness among police officers that corruption is a most distasteful act.
"When there is an understanding and awareness on this, then they will move to stop all activities that would harm members of the public.
"Corruption occurs across the board in all 10 departments of the police force, including the Special Branch.
"This should be prevented, and subsequently I would act to close as many loopholes – any activities which are unclear in terms of permissibility," he said.
Hamid explained that he had recently issued a directive to all contingents to stop all acts of obtaining sponsorship from outside parties merely to hold open houses in conjunction with Aidilfitri.
"In fact, there were some said that this was a traditional event. I agree, we hold open houses every year where we invite government officers and foreign embassy officials to interact with the police.
"However, there is no allocation given by the government to organise such activities.
"So, we have to use internal funds, such as our depleting welfare, social and sports funds, to organise major events, which are costly,” he said.
Hamid said that all this while, open houses at the higher levels of the force received sponsorship from corporate bodies, such as those organised by Bukit Aman.
At the lower levels, however, there are junior police officers who seek sponsorship from outside to organise such events.
"Such actions were carried out without any guidelines,” he said.
Hamid said that such open houses would also be a waste of time for those involved, since they would be using office time to plan such events.
"So, as far as possible, I would close any space for junior officers to be used as slaves to collect funds, and instead make them focus on improving service quality,” he said.
There are also OCPDs and OCS who are environmentally conscious and popular in their respective districts for giving the best service to the public, Hamid added.
"In this matter, I believe this is enough, because there is positive feedback from the public who praise our service.
"Maybe the residents organise open houses in their respective housing schemes and invite the OCPD and OCS to promote good relations between the force and the public."
He stressed that the police would no longer hold Aidilfitri open houses, whether at the Bukit Aman, contingent or district levels.