As Malaysia approaches its 50th year, I cannot help but think that while being in its infancy this nation is ageing far too fast and is fast being tired of itself. The cohesiveness of its people in the run up to the events on the 31st August, 1957 and 16th September, 1963 is fast coming undone. Many a times have I written on how far more cohesive we were immediately after the 13th May, 1969 tragedy than we are now, despite claims of how far more mature we are in the political sense. That may be true, but we behave like immature kids behaving like we are politically mature.
Elements once found destructive, such as Communism, is now being looked up to. A few days ago, left-leaning students were audience in a forum that had a former member of the all-but-defunct Communist Party of Indonesia, and students were seen wearing t-shirts glorifying Tan Malaka, a Marxist who once lived in Indonesia. To add insult to injury, Karpal Singh has also been reported as supporting the move to allow former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya, Chin Peng, to return to Malaysia. Of course, humanitarians would argue that there is nothing wrong with allowing an octogenarian back to the land he was born in, and liberals would think the same. I hope these same people would also condemn Israel for still hunting former Nazis and tell the people of Cambodia they should forgive the Khmer Rouge.
For whatever reasons too did the police not act previously on criminal elements. The removal of the ISA and the Emergency Ordinance rendered the police virtually helpless in its fight against crime, let alone be able to maintain peace and order and breathe at the same time. Kudos to the good teamwork of the present Inspector-General of Police and the new Minister of Home Affairs. We have not seen this kind of teamwork since the days of Tun Dr Ismail – Tun Salleh, and Tun Ghazali Shafie – Tun Haniff days.
I have read comments from politicians from both sides of the political fence who are against giving the police emergency powers and say that the police should learn from their British counterparts on how to police the law without having firearms. Britain, for those who did not study geography, is an island, unlike Malaysia that has land borders with neighbours. A simple ferry or train ride from the European continent requires passengers and luggages to be scanned. My former college mate who is now a Chief Inspector in the Thames Valley Police lamented how he sometimes wish he was given a gun, especially in the wake of the two incidents where two women constables were gunned down by armed criminals. Imagine our police fighting crime with porous borders.
The introduction of the proposed Criminal Prevention Act should hopefully allow the police to conduct interdiction strikes on hardcore crime gangs. This Act will allow the police to hold criminal elements for up to 70 days pending trial. I have not seen the draft in full but I am sure it will uphold the rights of those who want peace.
Was there political interference in the police’s operations before the new Minister and Inspector-General came into office? I would leave that to the former Inspector-Generals to answer. But I know a gangster was awarded one of the highest Federal titles. How his name had made it through police vetting definitely puzzles me.
I know for sure there are politicians from both sides of the political fence whom have been seen with criminal elements, and photographs of these politicians meeting with criminals exist. These are prominent politicians and I know the police has full knowledge of this. Whether their presence with the criminals is for political or for personal reasons, only they and the police can answer this.
Former IGP Tun Haniff Omar once remarked that the BERSIH rally had communist elements involved. I would not be at all surprised if there are members of the CPM whom have made it into political parties, as they did before 13th May, 1969. Today, we have former police Director of CID Tan Sri Zaman Khan saying that an ex-convict who was a triad chief is also holding a lower office in a political party in Penang (NST, Nation page 25, 5th September 2013).
I particularly like Ben Tan’s article “Youth gangs today lack ‘basic values’.” (NST, Comments page 18, 5th September 2013). Ben, NST’s Johor bureau chief wrote:
GANGSTER’S LIFE: The members just crave money and power.
Ironically, the same can be said of the young politicians mentioned above, and of most politicians too. I certainly hope the Home Minister will give all the support the police needs in making this nation a safer place to live in.
At 50, Malaysia is already more divisive than it should be. Political fanatics are to be blamed. With the underworld and subversive elements making a breakthrough, it will not be long before our children begin to face the mistakes we have all made. Criminals, subversive elements, politicians with links to the underworld should never be allowed to represent the people of Malaysia, and I urge the Malaysian people to reject them and reject those who protect them. If we don’t, we won’t see Malaysia living past 100.