Manpower, not more money to cops!
The announcement of increments and allowances to police officers by the government is a bad move in terms of security management of the country. Police officers at this moment have good pay and their allowances had been increased or adjusted not long ago. Given the tedious and danger of police work, one may agree that police officers should be given better pay, but, we should also not forget that their income is very much better than many civil servants. Even before this announcement by the Prime Minster, a police constable with a Form 5 or SPM qualification enjoys a starting pay of about RM897.00 and can reach to RM2,065. 40 during his career in the Force. Besides that, a police constable can also enjoy a monthly service allowance of RM115.00, incentive allowance of RM200.00 and also housing allowance of RM275.00 per month. For a start, a constable can earn about RM1287.00 per month. After a minimum of three years, a constable can be eligible for advancement in rank to lance corporal and the advancement in rank will carry better pay and incentives for the constable. Police Inspectors in their present salary scale can now earn a few thousand ringgit a month.
Rank *Monthly salary
(RM) **Civil Service Allowance
(RM) ***Incentive Allowance
(RM) ****Housing Allowance
(RM)* ** *** ****
Trainee 897.00 115 - -
Constable 897.00-2,065.40 115 100 275
Lance corporal 1,386.21 - 2,285.94 115 100 275
Corporal 1,071.61 - 2,551.66 115 100 275
Sergeant 1,513.62 - 2836.62 115 100 275
Sergeant Major 1,773.16 - 2,897.80 115 100 275
Sub Inspector 2,032.71 - 3,157.35 115 100 275
In terms of security management, the government had shown bad financial management by increasing the salaries of police officers by giving at this moment better allowances. The additional fund of RM84 million, instead of allowances to the policemen, what the government should have done was to use that fund to increase the present manpower of the Force itself. At this moment, the Police Force lacked manpower and this manpower had not increased since the last 30 years.
When I joined the Police Force in the 1980s, the manpower of the Police Force stood about 80,000 men and it is also the same at today with about 89, 197 personnel only. With increased development and population, manpower in the Force should be increased, not their salaries in which, is already very high if compared with other government servants with same qualifications. This was the reason why we hardly could nowadays find policemen patrolling the streets and housing estates on foot and bicycles today. Given the better facilities today with patrol cars, this does not mean that better facilities will promote better efficiency if the Police Force lacked manpower.
The basic crime prevention in our society still needs policemen on foot and on bicycles. Even in advanced countries we still can see policemen on bicycles. The rationale behind this was to create of sense of friendliness with the public and with closer contact with public, policemen patrolling the streets on foot and bicycles can create a sense of security to members of the public. At the same time, it would be much easier for members of the public to supply information to police officers as patrol cars will not have this advantage.
The Home Ministry also should study the utilization of manpower in the Police Force. At present, we can find policemen doing clerical work and these clerical works could easily be performed by civilian staff. Being trained in security, investigation and crime prevention, it is a waste to see policemen and officers sitting in office to do clerical work in which are not suitable to their training. It is estimated that about 30% of the strength of the Police Force at this moment are doing desk job now and this includes the Inspector-General of Police himself. He should with his senior police officers be seen on the streets and checking their men more often rather than attending meetings and giving command from their offices. This is because only on first hand knowledge of the ground then could these officers been able to know what really was going on. This at the same time, this will create much public confidence and closer rapport from members of the public.