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DAP calls for a one or two-month postponement of campaign to recruit more Chinese into the police force to first identify and address the root causes resulting in only 2.57% or 2,221 Chinese out of 86,159 police personnel


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling JayaWednesday): DAP calls for a one or two-month postponement of the campaign to recruit more Chinese into the police force to first identify and address the root causes resulting in only 2.57% or 2,221 Chinese out of 86,159-strong police personnel. 

Yesterday was the start of a month-long police recruitment exercise but there has been no change whatsoever in the response of the Chinese youths, as illustrated by the fact that out of 140 applicants to the police recruitment drive in the Federal Territory, 95 fulfilled the qualifying conditions but there was not a single Chinese. (Sin Chew)

The revelation by the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung on Monday  that there are only 2,221 Chinese or  2.57% of the 86,159-strong police force was   most shocking, reflecting the  failure of the two MCA Deputy Home Ministers in the past eight years to prevent  Chinese participation in the police force from falling  to such a low level.

Chorís announcement of the government  target to raise Chinese percentage in the police force  from 2.57 per cent  to 10  per cent in two years is meaningless as shown by the total lack of response from the Chinese youths in the Federal Territory yesterday, unless the root causes for the low Chinese enrolment in the police force are recognized and  addressed boldly and imaginatively by the government.

Parliament which reconvened yesterday  for the 40-day 2004 Budget meeting should have a full, constructive and productive debate on this issue, generating ideas to address this problem. 

The month-long campaign from Sept. 2 to Oct. 1 to recruit more Chinese to join the police force should be deferred by one or two months so that an all-party commission could be formed to identify and address the root causes for the low Chinese enrolment in the police force.  

DAP proposes  a three-point strategy to create the conducive conditions to provide for greater  multi-racial balance in the police force, viz:  

  • A national effort involving all political parties, whether government or opposition,  and the Chinese community to encourage Chinese youths to enrol in the police force and overcome the traditional cultural aversion to join the police or other uniformed services;
  • Competitive salaries and a living wage for lower police ranks to ensure that they they are not tempted to supplement their income with corrupt practices.  Recent police recruitment exercises have highlighted the problem faced by the police in getting Malays of the right calibre to fill some 700 to 800 vacant posts because of the meagre pay. There seems to be a trend of decreasing percentage of Malays and an increasing  percentage of the indigenous people of Sarawak and Sabah in the police force and even the armed services.   Three years ago, I had proposed a 50 per cent upward revision of the salaries of the lower police grades. Ten years ago, I supported a new police salary scheme which was 20 per cent higher than other civil servants as in the case of some countries like Japan, Singapore and Britain because the job involved greater stress and higher risks.  Parliament and Cabinet should act on these proposals.
  • Guarantee of meritocracy in police appointments and promotions, and ending all forms of discrimination and  unfair service conditions, such as promotions not based on performance and ability.

If the government is prepared to address these three issues to create  the conducive  conditions of service in the police not only for  Chinese youths but also for all Malaysians, DAP is prepared to fully co-operate with the police in  the campaign to get more Chinese youths to join the police to provide a more ethnically-balanced security service. 

If the government is not prepared to address all these three issues, it is unlikely that its  promotion  campaign to get more Chinese youths to join the police force will meet with much success, as the country will be facing a new problem, the decreasing number of Malays in the police force.

(3/9/2003)


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman