Whether there is negligence or human error in the loss of guns and police cars as stated in the Auditor-General's Report, the IGP and Home Minister must take responsibility.
The police force lost RM1.3 million of weapons and equipment, including 29 cars, as revealed in the Auditor-General’s Report 2012.
How does a policeman lose a car? Who has got the guts to go steal a police car? Is there no Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to tell the policeman what to do when leaving his car unattended?
May I suggest the following SOP to stop the police force from losing more cars?
Protecting a police vehicle from theft
Never leave your cars unattended with the key in the ignition – even if you were discussing, negotiating and demanding to “selesai” a traffic offence committed by a motorist.
Never leave your car keys lying on a table or key hooks in the police station. If there are policemen who kill suspects in custody you can be sure that there are a few cops waiting for an opportunity to steal handphones, cameras, computers, radios, firearms and maybe even a car!
Do not park in unlit areas when carrying out any “cari makan” operation. You never know what lurks in the shadows.
Do not leave valuables in the car, including proceeds from “cari makan“ operations when you step out of the vehicle.
Secure your vehicle. An engine immobiliser or a steering lock is an effective deterrent. If there is no engine immobiliser or a steering lock you should have another policeman seated in the car.
We have yet to hear of a police car being stolen when there is a policeman in it. A car thief’s cardinal rule is to make sure there is no policeman in the car before stealing it.
What does a cop do when his car is stolen?
As everyone knows the first thing you do when your car is stolen is to report at the nearest police station.
But what if you are the policeman? You cannot dial 999 because your mate might be at the other end.
Just imagine this conversation between patrolman Aziz whose car got stolen and his colleague Mat at the Sentul police station.
Aziz: Allo…Balai Polis Sentul (BPS)?
BPS: Selamat Petang tuan Balai Polis Sentul di sini!
Aziz: Mat itu engkau ka? Ni Ajis lah.
BPS: Ahhh Ajis…ni Mat ni.
Aziz: Mat kereta aku kena curi lah!
BPS: (after looking out in the courtyard and seeing Ajis’s Kancil still park there!)…kereta kau masih ada kat sini lah!
Aziz: Bukan kereta aku….kereta Peronda lah!
His problem starts from there! His colleagues at the station will be laughing their heads off at what has happened.
The guys who stole the car will also be laughing their heads off, too, at what they have done and only Aziz is the miserable one.
Now if the police cannot find the 29 cars that were stolen how can we expect them to find the ones reported by the public? Does that thought not worry you?
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) insists that the missing guns fell into the sea during certain police operations! What else fell into the sea, sir, apart from the guns and your credibility?
And what are these “certain” operations? I have been on these PA and PX-class boats at all hours. There are not like those leaking, bobbing sampans used by those people that the police habitually stop on the high seas to check for contraband.
The PX-class boats have automatic weapons, including the heavy cannon of 30mm calibre.
The people who should be nervous and shaking with fear are the ones being checked for contraband goods not the police.
At night, the police have searchlights that would blind smugglers. I do not see a situation on the high seas when the police might be involved in any serious incidents that could make them lose their weapons because they are quaking in fear or when the guns slipped from their hands by accident.
If anything, the policemen would be gripping their guns tightly to make sure that they are not without a weapon to defend themselves during these operations.
The IGP and the Home Minister insist that the police lost most of these weapons and cars through negligence and human error – not foul play or fraud.
Sir, what constitutes negligence and human error and what constitutes foul play and fraud?
Dare I suggest, sir, that maybe what the police are doing may be the result of negligence and human error but what the Home Minister and the IGP are doing constitutes foul play and fraud!
Why do I say so?
The IGP and the Home Minister are ultimately responsible for what is happening in the police force.
Whether there is negligence, human error, fraud or foul play in the police force, the two of them must take responsibility.
If you do not take responsibility then you are not doing the right thing.
If the police force is not doing the right thing, the Home Minister and the IGP are defrauding the people who have placed their trust on them.
The last Auditor-General’s report caused Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to lose her post. We will wait what this report will ultimately do to this Home Minister and the IGP.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.