There is a general perception that the police in Malaysia is not only unprofessional but is also racially biased.
Recent incidents involving police action in enforcing the law when faced with so-called illegal public demonstrations seem to suggest that such a perception is not completely unjustified.
While I am sure, a majority in the police force want nothing but to be seen as law enforcers and they are good. But they have to accept the reality of this negative perception.
The police must not only be fair but they must be seen to be fair.They must ensure they have a better relationship with the public to reduce mistrust and mutual suspicions.They have to ensure all guidelines and procedures are followed when enforcing the law.
And they must enforce the law fairly. They must treat everyone fairly.As such the onus is on the police to repair the mistrust and suspicions which the public have of them.
If it is just a case of a few complaints here and there against the police then we can easily dismiss them.But there is a clear public perception which is negative. Surveys have shown that a majority of the public feel the police are unprofessional and that they are corrupt.
Now there is even a perception that they are racially biased.
This must be addressed. The public must have confidence in the police in order for the force to tackle major issues like preventing crime.
Some senior officers have shown before that they can engage in proper dialogue with the public.They have successfully implemented Community Oriented Policing (Rakan COP) in some areas.In my home state Johor, the police have actively engaged the public in fighting crime.
But all of these efforts will come to nought if the public has no confidence in the police and consider it unprofessional. Perhaps MCA ministers should bring up this issue in Cabinet. The Cabinet can then deliberate on measures to restore confidence in the police.