With the recent 35% increase in police salaries, CID Chief Christopher Wan had this to say about the public's role in reducing corruption amongst his colleagues.
"It is important that we live up to expectations. That the salary has been increased would suffice for us to make ends meet (and) no more excuse for any member of the force to indulge in any corrupt practice."Chris... can I call you Chris? Well, Chris, you know what? You could actually make life a lot easier for the public SO THAT they don't have to offer bribes to your policemen. The reason why we offer bribes is because:
However, he also said the public has the responsibility not to bribe police officers and personnel. Without the public bribing police, corruption cases involving members of the force could be reduced, he said.
"Please don't bribe the police either after committing a traffic offence or anything that you have done against the law."
- there are just too many opportunities for policemen to make life difficult for us. Most of these are trivial like trumped up traffic offences, illegal stop and search, forgetting ICs, suspicion of one thing or another etc. All those road blocks, late night mamak IC checking, standing behind trees, off-duty policemen "patrolling" the streets in uniform etc... are these really necessary?
- policemen have too much leeway and discretion to "detain for questioning" or "balik balai" (as it is commonly referred to). They can detain members of the public for 24hours for suspicion of non-criminal offences, with no necessity to explain or actually prove that their suspicions were indeed well-founded.
Don't you think that this unfettered power to waste 24 hours of the public's time in the most uncomfortable way possible, is the main cause why the public pay bribes?
Might I even go so far to suggest that this discretionary power might be used to threaten and punish those who refuse to offer bribes?
- the police std operating procedures are too vague and ineffective, and leaves much room for the simple non-criminal offences above to "escalate" into becoming criminal offences like the very wide and very vague charges of "resisting arrest" and "obstructing justice".