Although the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai has publicly expressed sadness and regrets at the incident, the time has come for the entire police force to bear responsibility for the latest case of senseless and tragic killing as a result of trigger-happy police to end once and for all any further senseless and tragic loss of lives caused by trigger-happy police personnel, who are paid at public expense to protect lives and property and not vice versa.
The police force, and in particular the police leadership, does not seem to be taking very seriously the public outrage at the senseless killing of Dr. Tan, refusing to regard it as the latest and uncompletely unacceptable example of a shocking lack of police discipline and professionalism which has gravely undermined public confidence in the police.
Instead, the police leadership seems to be treating it as a "public relations" problem, hoping that Malaysians have short memory and that the public furore and outrage will die down after a few days - until another case of senseless killing by another trigger-happy policeman!
Malaysians do not want the police leadership to regard Dr. Taiís killing as one of those "unfortunate" or "accidental" cases, but to take the senseless and tragic killing of Dr. Tai seriously as proof of failure of police efforts in the past few months to present a "people-friendly" image and the need to conduct a total shake-up of the police force to root out any police mentality which allowed certain police personnel to have no qualms in taking the law into their own hands and even assuming the role of "prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner" all in one.
This is why the police should make an ex gratia compensation of RM500,000 to Dr. Taiís family, as proof that the police leadership and the force as a whole accept full responsibility for the senseless and tragic killing of Dr. Tai and would do its utmost to ensure that there would be no more victims of police trigger-happy shooting.
It is most regrettable that Dr. Taiís senseless killing was not brought up at last Wednesdayís Cabinet meeting, although the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik said that the Cabinet discussed the 17-point Malaysian Chinese organisationsí (Hua Tuan) election appeals .
As Liong Sik claimed yesterday that MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers support the 17-point Hua Tuan election appeals, the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers should establish a new principle of police accountability in Cabinet next Wednesday by proposing that the Police pay RM500,000 ex gratia compensation to the family of Dr. Tai Eng Teck as latest victim of police trigger-happy shooting.
This will be in accord with the one of the 17-Point Hua Tuan Demands, namely:
"14. Restore confidence in the police force
In recent years, the way in which the Malaysian police have conducted themselves has been a cause for concern and has shaken the confidence of the public in the police force:
· Establish commissions of enquiry to investigate all cases
of police abuse of power and torture under police detention, release
these reports for public scrutiny and punish those police personnel
found to have abused their power;
· Improve the quality of the police force through salary adjustment and more stringent recruitment procedures to ensure a more responsible, humane and just police force."
Dr. Taiís senseless and tragic killing by trigger-happy police will be a test of the sincerity and seriousness of the support of the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP for the 17-point Hua Tuan election appeals. Malaysians will be entitled to ask as what is the meaning of such support when MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers are not prepared to support in Cabinet greater police accountability and responsibility as in requiring the Police to make a RM500,000 ex gratia compensation to Dr. Taiís family.