Yesterday I read in the New Straits Times that the Police have not been complying significantly with the recommendations of the Commission into the infamous Police abuse known locally as Squatgate. I have tried to retrieve that piece of news but mysteriously it has disappeared from its pages. Maybe someone from a certain ministry wasn’t happy about it and rang the editor up?
The article pointed out a number of areas where the Police has not complied or indicated it will not comply with the Commission’s advice, but advice as advice goes, because that’s what a ‘recommendation’ basically is, the police can refuse to adopt it. It’s up to the Minister to either tell the Police to comply or pretend that nothing had happened, which is what’s occurring – nothing of real significance has happened!
The Commission’s recommendation for a doctor to be present when intimate body searches have to done, or use of body scanning devices, was rejected by the Police. The reason given was that there's not enough such devices which would cost money. Huh!
However, the one item that stood out in my recollection was the Commission’s recommendation for a detainee being body searched to be, as best as my recollection of the newspaper item goes, in some form of ‘minimum attire' or basically with some dress on, was changed by the Police to ‘appropriate attire’.
Now the Squatgate woman was definitely in ‘appropriate attire’ for what the Police wanted to do to her. She was stripped naked for the (official) reason that the Police wanted to see whether drugs (or weaponry) would fall from her body crevices, armpits or under her breast. And certainly for those ‘objectives’ she was ‘appropriately attired' - in the complete nude.
I dread to think what ‘appropriate attire’ the Police would think of, as an example, in the recent case of a woman (the Chinese national-wife of a Malaysian), hauled in by the Police for no justified reason, and subjected to a frightening experience. In the Police station a policeman lustfully gestured to her his admiration of the size of her breast! How far would this be translated into under the Police standing instructions for body search if the pervert wanted the woman in ‘appropriate attire’?
I wonder where the IGP, who had disappeared into thin air during all the recent and disgraceful Police controversies, had emerged from. And the moment he did, he started to pontificate about Police leaders not understanding human rights – Sheesh, what gall! Hasn’t he been the IGP all these last few years, and probably serving as the Deputy IGP for many more before he became IGP?
If his OCPDs don’t understand human rights, he and his present deputy are to be blamed. What the hell had he done to remedy the shocking standards of his Police force all those years?
And just to impress us, he admonished one of the OCPDs attending a recent Police workshop for not wearing his “Saya Anti-Rasuah” badge. I can’t believe the sheer puerility of his management. For a start, the ‘Saya Anti-Rasuah’ slogan has already made the Police the laughing stock of the Malaysian public. Does anyone believe for one instant that that meaningless slogan will rid the Police of its deep malaise?
And the IGP’s blaming of his senior officers for not understanding human rights when he has been the IGP all along, plus his very public admonishment of the hapless OCPD who didn't wear the slogan, showed up the lousy quality of his leadership, or lack of. A good leader doesn't blame his men or shoots anyone of them, especially another officer, down in public. This is basic officer quality - young officers are taught this from Day 1 - and in one brief appearance the IGP has committed both leadership sins. There are no bad soldiers, only bad generals!
He has chosen to grandstand at the expense of his officers' dignity, but his attempt has been sheer unbelievable bullshit.
The only ‘appropriate attire’ for the Police is a coat of spots, for the Police leopard obviously hasn't or couldn't changed his!