Emergency Ordinance not the answer
I have been following the statements made by the Home Minister, senior police officers and UMNO bloggers who argue that the recent increase in crime is the direct result of the Prime Minister’s repeal of the Internal security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO). They are now asking for these detention powers to be restored so the police can combat crime. Some who are clamouring for this U-turn had earlier supported the repeal of both laws only a year ago.
Let us be clear, however, that the ISA was not used against hardcore criminals, whether it was during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s or Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenures as PM. It was instead used against political opponents and those deemed to be religious “deviants”. It’s time we stop blaming the repeal of the ISA for the increase in crime.
In the end, hardcore criminals must be put away in prison. Society must be protected in the fullest sense of the word, and not merely be granted a reprieve by selective and intermittent detention. Gang members must be made to realise that the police are stronger than them, and that there is no escape from the punishment of the law if they continue to engage in criminal activities. They must be convinced that the police force will get to them sooner or later. The public can also help if they think the police can protect them; otherwise, they will continue to pay protection money to the gangs.
Suppose the rise in crime and violent killings is due to the police force’s inability to cope, either because of a lack of resources or corrupt ties between the force’s top guns and the drug lords and gambling syndicates. Suppose corruption has seeped in that deeply. If our problem is similar to say Mexico’s, then taking the trouble to introduce new detention laws is a waste of time. A major overhaul of the police is the only way out of this mess.
What the Prime Minister and his Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should do now is to take stock of the real situation and take immediate steps to fight organised crime in the way former President Felipe Calderón did in Mexico. He deployed the military to join forces with those in the police force who were still “clean” to fight the drug lords because he realised the police could not do it on their own. In five years he increased the recruitment of senior federal police officers from 7,000 to 38,000, and he persuaded graduates to enroll so that he could move some of the less reliable officers into retirement. He was not embarrassed to ask for help from the United States in terms of funding, police training and investigative resources to strengthen his own force. He improved the prosecutorial capability of the police force and re-organised the state police to work in tandem and closely with their federal counterparts.
In other words, our leaders must accept that the situation with our own police force has become extremely alarming and urgently requires comprehensive and far-reaching measures. If police officers are on the payroll of the syndicates, then the syndicate bosses would actually want a short spell in detention until things cool down instead of having to face criminal charges in court. That means an EO can be useful to this gangster and can shield him from having to face the full force of the law. An EO, in other words, can be subject to abuse, and innocent parties can also end up being detained at the syndicates’ behest.
It’s unrealistic and facile to reintroduce detention laws for such intractable and complicated problems. The root causes will not be addressed. When I was a Member of Parliament many years ago, senior police officers (retired and still in service) would confide in me about the problems of corruption in the force. That was one of the compelling reasons we wanted an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission or IPCMC to be introduced as part of a package to deal with the ailing force.
If the problems are not as serious as I have painted, then we should be able to deal with them the way First World countries like Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom do. They have a police force that is capable of investigating crimes professionally, and that has the capability to prosecute them in the courts of law.
If our police force is tainted and is given detention powers once again, then the old system will be put back in place where there will be no incentive to diligently investigate and prosecute criminals. Why gather evidence and risk upsetting the “bosses” when a short detention will do the trick? Some mobsters may end up in Simpang Renggam with the new detention laws, but with their mobile phones and the Internet they can continue running their businesses. So how does an EO help us to reduce crime? It doesn’t. Only spring-cleaning the police will restore the community’s confidence in the country’s safety and security. Half measures and knee-jerk reactions never solve anything.
My Thots and Say as I see it:
All manner of draconian preventive detention, will not be so effective to curb crime and syndicates operating with impunity, ( even crime enterprises can be run by a masterminds within prison walls as has been know to happen) or hardcore criminals running loose despite very tough detention without trial laws.as long as there isn’t any will to tackle the malaise that corruption begets….guns , drugs , and looking the other way, all the scourges that money can buy….as long as there are takers, and pay offs ,criminal enterprises will only be too happy to obliged and they can make tons of illegal money again and again , and pay others to look the other way, never ending vicious repeating cycle, even if tough laws are reintroduced, it may just filter out the small frys and occasional sacrificial offering.
.Money politics and the vicious interlinked web of corruption that entangles the criminal , the enforcers and influential powerful figures although may prove difficult to completely dismantle ,doesn’t hurt to at least try..to make things less threatening..bringing down the security threat level few notches.
Like perhaps focus n introduce much tougher punitive laws on areas where abuses are done by those entrusted to upkeep the laws, or those who misuse their influential positions for nefarious means – as deterrent or reminder,that they risk losing all n still be severely dealt with if found to be abusing their positions for treacherous gain and menacing and having a harmful effect to society.
More often than not.. many high profile crime gets the NFA label…unless leads suggest that it was low level gangsters or common criminals that are involved , then a hunting fervour is applied .
Yet much like the ” My Watch” Sanjeevan’s situation , that has potential of implicating senior high ranking law enforcement officials..are deemed very hot potato..who knows how much higher it can lead ?
And who/what could be toppled if there really are high profile public figures implicated? If public pressure and opinion at the reckless shooting and attempted murder wasn’t an element, there may have been a chance of procrastination or reluctance to go further.
Perhaps it is precisely because of knowing exactly how high it does go, and where it will lead to , that in most cases will cause the brakes to be applied.. Powerful figures in influential positions?
So many revelations recently is painting a picture of this country as if, it is governed by Organised Crime Inc.
WHAT I THINK
In the past week, there have been a number of shootings almost every other day in Malaysia, which the authorities attribute to lax laws and a shorthanded police force. At the same time, the authorities have gone after Shia followers, a Muslim dog trainer for uploading a video clip of her washing dogs to the sound of prayers, and today, asking the mother of sex blogger Alvin Tan to come in for questioning. Is this a case of misplaced priorities? People want to feel safe on the streets. Not shot down at random or by hired killers when the authorities decide it is better to save souls than lives. We need a government focused on today and tomorrow, not the hereafter.
The way I see it..My Rambling Thots !
The sudden explosion of reported and publicized gun crimes recently in all media has struck an alarming note on the public’s psyche..practically a daily occurence of some shooting of another unfortunate victim,
Yet these widely reported news on all the major media seems to follow too closely by the call to bring back the draconian laws of detention without trial. If anyone can remember or noticed that barely few months ago, , there was not that many cases of gun crimes highlighted in the media- but all of a sudden, it is as if a gun crime tsunami has swept upon the malaysian streets – accounts of shootings armed robberies almost everyday ,
so actually, the more alarming thing is ,before the highly publicized gun crimes lately, could it also mean that gun crime cases has been rampant in the country all along through the years ( even with the EO or not) but there was a concerted effort by the previous administration to keep a lid on the statistics so as not avoid unnecessary alarm before , and so the public intentionally kept in the dark , to create a false sense of security,. Therefore crimes using firearms were not as frequently reported then unlike the recent media blitz on the topic for the past month or so..
If compared to same period last year or even as recent as GE 13, there weren’t so many highlighted n publicized gun crimes in the media but does that mean the gun toting criminals have been on holiday but now after RnR suddenly decide to go on a gun shooting spree with a vengeance just this past month or two. ..( of course ,it is seriously doubted that it is because these gun criminals are protesting a chance that the EO will be back and make their lives difficult again).
Probably an attempt is being made by those in the establishment in trying to prove a point on the preventive detention laws and the media -unwittingly or not- have been roped in to aiding and abbeting their cause.