Saturday, October 27, 2007

Policemen killed - PM AAB did an 'unpardonable'

"You cannot solve a problem by condemning it" -Wayne Dwyer

"The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them" - Lois McMaster Bujold

Malaysiakini has reported very sad news. Two policemen were killed when they attempted to raid a syabu (illicit drug) processing laboratory.

Kaytee offers deepest condolences to the families of Lance Corporal K Jayabalan and Lance Corporal M Alagesan.

I hope the government and police will look after their families.

Two other policemen, Chief Inspectors Helmi Zakaria and R Rajkumaran were also shot but are now in stable conditions in the hospital.

A massive manhunt is on, as would and should be in the case of the most dangerous of all crimes, the gunning down of law officers.

While mistakes had undoubtedly been made, and lessons should be learnt, and even heads to roll, let me provide a piece of advice to PM AAB, who lambasted the police in saying:

“The approach (used by the police officers) in this case was inappropriate. It (the killings) could have been avoided if it was carried out properly, with help from different police squads, probably with the use of loud hailers as well.”

“To have a proper strategy, the superiors should be notified before any raid is carried out. It is vital to have a well coordinated plan before embarking on raids against suspects.”

Just motherhood statements (sounds good to say but too late to implement, and bloody useless for those two victims), no doubt taken from advice provided by his police advisor. The Star Online reported the IGP as also saying:

Musa also ordered thorough investigations into what actually happened, including finding out if the officers and men involved in the operation were part of a task force.

He also wants answers as to how the operation was carried out and who the task force commander was.

“When we form a task force, officers and personnel from various departments will be roped in to assist in the investigations and operations.

All well and good, IGP, but let’s leave the blame game aside for a while and concentrate on hunting those killers down first.

Therefore my advice, my dear PM, is that you don’t, nay, you NEVER start pointing fingers in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy. It’s inappropriate, untimely and hurtful to the bereaving families, and it demoralises the entire police force.

There is a time and place for such criticism, but never immediately after such a tragedy.

Right now, in such a state of depression, anger and no doubt regrets in the police force, you should be not only fortifying but actually raising the morale of the policemen.

Unfortunately, you have not been trained as an officer of His Majesty's Armed Service and therefore lack that understanding of how to lead men and raise their morale, so I am aware you wouldn't have a clue. You are just a politician!

So, you have either received poor advice or took it onto yourself to translate the information provided by your police advisor into a public statement of admonishment.

Datuk, your uncalled for admonishment has been an unmitigated and terrible astonishment!

By now, I hope that you would have realised you have been compromised by the Police blame game, where the senior police officers right from the IGP downwards who have command responsibility for the deaths of those two policemen have been busy pointing fingers all around, and the best bodies to point fingers at have always been dead ones, because they can’t answer back.

Finger pointing ‘downwards’ has always and will always be slimy managerial politics of incompetents, who aren’t capable of effective operational recovery.

By contrast (based purely on Malaysiakini report) look at what CID chief Christopher Wan Soo Kee has to say:

The deaths of our men will not deter us from hunting them down to every corner of the country. Policemen are sad with this senseless killings of their colleagues but they will soldier on to maintain peace and security for all citizens.

Police investigation will involve the entire Bukit Aman police force, Selangor police and Kuala Lumpur police.

The morale must be maintained by letting the policemen know that no criminal kills one of them and gets away. No stone will be left unturned. Those killers must be caught and brought to justice. It’s actually not a brilliant kaytee’s idea but a universal attitude of policemen all around the world, and a right one for a lawful society which will not tolerate disrespect to society's appointed law officers.

I hope, my dear PM, you have learnt something from your terrible faux pas.


  1. I think you have come on a bit too strong. The PM as "CEO" have a right to show anger and take the "management" to task for such needless loss of lives. Homilies and sympatheties aside, the PM as "CEO" has a job to strong. It is within his domain of authority and responsibility to be seen to be concerned with poor "management" or leadership if you like. The police are no softies. What AAB said was, in my mind, not demoralising or in poor taste. I certainly didn't feel that way when I read it. On the contrary, I was cheering him. I thought he said right. I can't imagine what make you made that judgement. Go ask the people leading platoons in war. They are probably more interested in removing a poor leader whose poor judgements are causing causualities in their platoon. And in a war, I don't think it is the Cammander-Chief"s job to be forever making such platitudinal statements for public consumption that you wish he make. Nay, KT, I think AAB said the right thing. No faux pas here in my humble opinion.

  2. KT,
    We can only conjecture why this 4 police personnel did not call for backup squad. One reason could be that they dont trust the other members in the squad. They may have a sure lead and did not want this one criminal to be tipped and allow him to runaway. We know many police personnel are on the payroll of drug kingpins and they have no qualms about tipping them off when an impending raid is mounted.

  3. >> Therefore my advice, my dear PM, is that you don’t, nay, you NEVER start pointing fingers in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy. It’s inappropriate, untimely and hurtful to the bereaving families, and it demoralises the entire police force.

    Why not?

    Was the raid poorly executed till it cost the lives of three plainclothes cops? From the photos, they were gunned down in the house's car porch. That meant they had approached the front door before being ambushed by the gang. And without backup and body armor.

    Maybe Badawi's asking these questions too early. But they've gotta be asked, sooner or later...

  4. I think it was too premature for the PM to comment as such. Even the IGP is still investigating. The PM should have accepted the advice from the Polis and make a full statement once the investigation is completed.

  5. Agree 100%. WTF PM go critique the police? HE IS part of the administration, the policies maker, instead of critique, he should f*cking fixed the system!

    He should not hijack the 4th estate and 5th estate roles. Damn it.