Monday, July 09, 2007

Malaysia - Rise of the Warlords

malaysiakini quoted Opposition Leader, DAP Lim Kit Siang, as lamenting that in just twenty years, the police has allowed a once-safe Malaysia to deteriorate into a country where its people are racked with fear of, and deeply traumatised by crimes.

The city of Johor Baru is chief among those places which have been neglected by our so-called guardians of the law to the extent that they are now hostages to criminals and their nefarious conducts.

We not only have had allegations of the police being brutal, corrupt and unlawful, but further allegations of our so-called lawmen being in cahoots with the very criminals who now ‘run’ JB as if the city is their own fiefdom.

There was a time when our police tamed the untameable Triads, way way way before Hong Kong came up with the idea of ICAC. And we successfully defeated the communists - the only nation in the world to do so - in large part due to Special Branch's superior intelligence, infiltration of the CT cells and psy-war.

Our police then gave us not only confidence in our security but pride that we alone in SE Asia (ignoring Singapore which had always been an intrinsic part of our history, political and social fabric in so many ways) did not have to suffer the totalitarian regime of a military government.

The government, since Tunku’s days, had successfully used the RMP as an effective counter-weight to keep in check any ambitious military napoleons.

But alas, that glorious history has long gone. It has been reported that since the current IGP took over, crime rates have soared to disgraceful levels, where rapes, robberies and snatch thefts are common everyday events that terrorise the public.

malaysiakini reported that ‘of late, the crime wave in Johor Bahru had prompted public
outcry and demands for immediate steps to arrest the problem which culminated in a demonstration being held in front of the Johor Menteri Besar's official residence.’

‘Following this, the government announced the
deployment of 400 additional police personnel along with 200 new police vehicles in the state.’

It had to come to such dramatic but as many suspected, a pre general election PR move.

Raja Petra Kamarudin in his Malaysia-Today posted a severe hard hitting body blow at the IGP titled Please, IGP, explain this!

It makes one’s blood curdled to read about the IGP’s dodgy links. Raja stated that
‘The organised crime syndicate -- which, as I said, includes prostitution (in particular girls from China), drugs (four types of ‘designer’ drugs) and illegal gambling (4D lotteries and slot machines) -- started expanding its operations soon after Musa took over as the IGP.’

Raja also raised the link between the Police, IGP’s son and BK Tan, the alleged Kingpin of the organised crime syndicate, through a company called Web Power Sdn Bhd.

Then, to add insult to our injury, PM AAB allowed the IGP to be honoured by the Agong with a Tan Sri and then, unbelievably for such disgraceful and incompetent police performance, extended the IGP’s contract when it’s supposed to end in September this year.

The case of a decaying rotten state! Please also see my previous postings:

(1) Altantuya trial & Najib Razak - why we seek alternative process
(2) Now is time for IPCMC

Then, just when we thought that nothing could get any worse, we have a malaysiakini article telling us that the government intends to make RELA, the People Volunteer Corps, into a full fledged enforcement department soon.

Well-known NGO Aliran is against this government plan, and suggested the government should instead limit RELA to disaster relief work. It spokesperson said:

“Aliran contends that legitimising Rela to become a permanent feature of our security apparatus is superfluous and tantamount to condoning the continuing violations of human rights in the country, regardless of the status of the victims.”

On a similar note, Amnesty International Malaysia criticised the government’s move because it would further legitimise and strengthen RELA’s powers to arbitrarily arrest, search and detain individuals. At present, RELA already has wide and discretionary powers where they can stop any person, enter any premises and make arrests without any warrants.

Worse, such powers also do not come with an oversight mechanism and thus were subject to abuse. Yes, frighteningly, we also know that RELA members are not trained like the police (I suppose one could then argue what’s the difference?) yet exercise far greater powers of intervention, arrest and detaining.

RELA members are already notorious for their abuse of powers. Read my previous postings:

(1) Rela-gate! Do we have Warlords?
(2) Rela-gate - we want some answers!
(3) Warlords & their goons
(4) Home Ministry sets Rela hounds on traders!
(5) Throwing Kitchen Sink at Dr Mahathir

Our government seems to be not only condoning but have certain sectors actually nurturing these private armies, and then using them as indicated in above postings.

The police is either incompetent or, as alleged, in cahoots with criminals, with senior heads behaving like warlords, whilst we have the additional threat of an unaccountable organization like RELA, already suspected of being used by political warlords for their own interests (eg. terrorising and physically abusing Indian nationals who were imported estate workers), becoming a full fledged enforcement organization.

Then of course we have our infamous JAIS, JAWI and official peeping toms (proposed from time to time by different UMNO-controlled states), city enforcement personnel who preyed on hugging couples, and dangerous seditious zealots like the Mufti of Disgrace who had no compunction in (nearly) causing religious riots.

Warlord-ism seems to have not only affected the government side but also one opposition party where shock troops would be sent into the streets for political interests. And of course we have suspicions of attempts to harness the Mat Rempits into future Brown Shirts on motorised two-wheels

Though the solution is as equally terrifying as the current plague of civilian warlords, wouldn’t it be just ironical if Malaysia, with its hitherto proud history of never ever having to suffer the indignity of being under a military government like other SE Asian nations, would need to turn to the army, like Turkey did, to rid us of the infestations of warlords and restore the nation to being a fully accountable, transparent and secular democracy, that it once was.

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