At least 30 per cent or around 7,000 of the new intake of 23,000 police personnel in the next five years should be women police officers to increase the women ratio to around 15 per cent of the total police force to help women deal with sex crimes
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): At least 30 per cent or around 7,000 of the new intake of 23,000 police personnel in the next five years should be women police officers to increase the women ratio to around 15 per cent of the total police force to help women deal with sex crimes.
This should be a top police priority in view of the revelation by the CID Director Comm Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Som that just in the first five months of the year, an average of four women were raped daily while there were three murders every two days in the country, with Selangor, Johor and Kedah topping the list, or 250 murders and 588 rapes during the period. Last year, police recorded 1,431 rape cases, and 975 of the victims were Malays, 240 Chinese, 103 Sabahans, 90 Indians, 79 illegal immigrants and 44 Sarawakians.
According to the Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice System (1998-2000), for the year 2,000, Malaysia had 8,008 women police personnel out of a total of 82,383, representing 9.7 per cent of the police force.
Though better than many countries including Korea, Japan and Thailand and some European countries, it is behind the United States, Ireland, Hong Kong, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Netherlands, as illustrated as follows:
Country Total Police No Female personnel Percentage In Police Force
South Korea 90,210 2,177 2.4
Spain 115,656 4,186 3.6
Japan 230,756 8,520 3.7
Thailand 215,450 10,724 5.0
Italy 322,800 16,981 5.3
Denmark 10,414 797 7.65
Finland 8,166 702 8.6
Malaysia 82,383 8,008 9.7
United States 677,933 (1999) 67,793 (1999) 9.9
Ireland 11,642 1,411 12.1
Hong Kong 33,072 4,128 12.5
France 124,284 16,543 13.3
Canada 56,020 7,658 13.7
Wales 123,826 20,694 16.7
Netherlands 31,575 5,405 17.1
The public outrage at the brutal Canny Ong abduction-rape-murder and the unprofessional police handling of the crime, with many Malaysians asking whether she could have been saved, demand greater police accountability to widespread concerns at the failure of the police to deliver its most important function – to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
In 1998, the then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor caused an unprecedented plunge in public confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the police force in the “black-eye” episode when he took the law into his own hands to assault former deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to an inch of his life immediately on the latter’s arrest and custody at the Bukit Aman Police headquarters.
When Tan Sri Norian Mai took over from Rahim Noor, his first act to restore public confidence was to declare the police motto of “Mesra, Cepat and Betul” (Friendly, Swift and Correct).
Is Norian Mai prepared to invite public evaluation as to the success of the “Mesra Cepat and Betul” slogan of the police force in the past four years, taking fully into account the rise in crime rate and public fear of crime?
In 1997, the police invited the public to evaluate its quality of service by sending out questionnaires to more than 700 stations nationwide to get public feedback – but nothing had been heard of the outcome of that public evaluation.
For a start, Norian Mai is invited to a DAP forum in Petaling Jaya next Saturday on “The lesson of Canny Ong – Reduce crime and the fear of crime” for him to explain how the police proposes to make the streets, public spaces and homes safe again for Malaysians.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman