Remedying Police Corruption: Candid Cops, not Corrupt Crooks
Here is our latest policy paper publication focusing on finding remedies to police corruption. Please forward this to your friends as we need to get a public discourse going on this important subject matter. Think "police," and what comes to your mind? Gratitude that they guard our safety? Definitely. Cash being handed over the car window? Well then.. Our latest policy paper tackles the public perception of corruption in the Royal Malaysian Police: why, and what should be done about it? If Hong Kong and Singapore have quite successfully overcome corruption in their police forces, can Malaysia do the same? We do not want to see the police's image further tarnished by a few rotten apples—let it not be "sebab nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga." (Tania Loke here, with big thank you's to our ex-intern Eric who started the research, now-interns Joel & Megan who kept it going, and Nadirah for excellent graphics, as always.)
Malaysia is no stranger to corruption, and in this paper we write about the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the negative public perception it carries.
The perceived corruption in the PDRM stems mainly from two sets of public interaction with the police: bribes at traffic offences and observations of organised crime activities conducted in the open.
After identifying reasons behind such perceived corruption in the PDRM, we consider the experiences of the Hong Kong and Singaporean police forces as both have been largely successful in overcoming corruption.
We make the following proposals to combat corruption: 4.1 Raising the wages of policemen. Raising wages of rank-and-file and senior PDRM officers, guided by Hong Kong and Singaporean standards, will cost an estimated RM2.55bil annually; 4.2 Strengthening the independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and setting up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission. The Hong Kong and Singapore police forces were formerly plagued by corruption, but the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau respectively helped solve the problem; and 4.3 Failing the above two, investing RM12mil in video surveillance technology to reduce the likelihood of traffic-offences bribery.
Corruption in the police force is just one of the many types of corruption in government enforcement agencies. Following the steps proposed will curb the problem, but strong political will and constant monitoring is required to fully stamp out the problem.