2004 Budget should announce the raising of the police starting pay from RM684 to over RM1,000 to correct the racial imbalance by encouraging more Chinese youths to join the police force
- at the 46th National Day Celebrations themed “Defend Secular Malaysia” at the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): DAP calls on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when presenting the 2004 Budget in Parliament on Sept. 12 to announce the raising of the police starting pay from the lowly RM684 to a living wage of over RM1,000 as a key component of the strategy to correct the racial imbalance in the police force by encouraging more Chinese youths to sign up as police personnel. .
The recent revelation by the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung in the Chinese press that there are only 2,221 Chinese or 2.57% in the 86,159-strong police force was most shocking, for although everybody knew that the Chinese are under-represented in the police force, nobody had expected the percentage of Chinese participation in the police had plunged so low to a miserable 2.57%.
Even more shocking are other statistics from MCA sources – for instance, that there are only 1,277 Chinese new police recruits or constables, or about 1.8 per cent of the total 68,821 rank and file, although at the officer level, Chinese percentages are very much higher.
Malaysians are entitled to know when the Chinese percentage in the police force had fallen so low, and the government should release the racial breakdowns in the various police ranks for the years 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000. Furthermore, the people want explanation as to why the two MCA Deputy Home Ministers in the past eight years since 1995 had failed to take remedial actions to prevent the Chinese ratio in the police force to plunge to 2.57% in the entire police force and 1.8% among the police rank-and-file.
Barisan Nasional leaders, particularly from the MCA, including the MCA President and Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Ong Ka Ting should stop equating police service with “patriotism”, as if suggesting that the Chinese are lacking in patriotism because of their low ratio in the police force.
Otherwise, let all MCA Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, State Executive Councillors, MPs and State Assembly members, as well as MCA leaders at all national levels declare how many of their children are serving in the police force – and whether absence of enrolment in the police force is to be equated with unpatriotic attitudes and actions on the part of the MCA leadership?
It would be more useful and productive for the MCA Ministers to ask the Cabinet and government to address the root causes for the low Chinese ratio in the police force – some of which have also resulted in the police finding difficulties in getting Malays of the right calibre to join the police service. Among the important root causes that should be addressed are:
The focus of fair racial balance in the police force should not be confined to one or two races but to all communites, and data and statistics for all racial groups in the police force should be made available to the public, as Malaysian Indians, for instance, would want to know the level of Indian participation at all ranks of the police force, and if there is under-representation, what corrective measures had been taken to rectify them.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman