Articles, Opinions & Views: Sacking the IGP is only part of the solution - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Sacking the IGP is only part of the solution - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Malaysiakini : “The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry - it just gets dirtier.” – Frank Serpico, the man who exposed police corruption in New York
COMMENT | I have no idea if the Singapore Straits Times article is credible and if the top cop and the rest of the petty fiefdoms in the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) are about to get their night of the long knives. I sincerely hope so. I really pity those cops who actually attempt to do some good on the job. Not only have they got to deal with a hostile public but they have to watch their backs when it comes to their comrades.
Some folks think that replacing or sacking the inspector-general of police (IGP) would go some way in resolving the issues that plague the PDRM but this action - part-punitive and part-reform - is merely the first step on the long arduous road to reforming the PDRM. The reality is that the person who replaces the IGP must want to reform the police force and chances are that this cosmetic change of replacing an unpopular IGP will not do anything to ensure that we have a police force and not, as some would argue, a uniformed division of politically-affiliated thugs.
Someone once asked me what the atmosphere is like in the PDRM. This as a professional who served in the state security apparatus and having close links – at one time – with the PDRM. I said, imagine ‘Serpico’ but without the Frank Serpico. When I talk about corruption in the PDRM, I am not talking about the “duit kopi” stuff that average Malaysians are exposed to. No, I am talking about the multi-million, perhaps billion-ringgit criminal enterprises which range from drugs to human trafficking. That is the foundation of police corruption in this country and which acts as a filtering system for recruits into the upper echelons of the criminal elite.
I will bet you my last ringgit that if there is ever a full-scale credible investigation into police corruption in this country, many politicians would be caught in the ensuing chaos that would make the 1MDB scandal look like a mischievous kid’s game. When we talk about police corruption, we are talking about a system with links to international cartels and criminal enterprises which run the gamut from illicit substances to money laundering. Who knows what kind of legitimate businesses would be implicated in the complex money-laundering schemes that are part and parcel of police corruption in this country?
Wang Kelian is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complicity of the state security apparatus and human trafficking in this country. What about meth labs, drug houses, drug safe houses, illegal gambling dens, protection rackets, prostitution and the other illicit activities that happen in a country where the top cop in Terengganu can say that Malays are not involved in gangsterism? Ah, race. That too. Kua Kia Soong in his book, ‘Racism and Racial Discrimination in Malaysia’, pointed out that post-1969, the system rejected a multi-racial police force and civil service in favour of policies that ensured that the racial composition of both favoured the dominant majority community.
This, of course, played well with the narrative that non-Malays were not interested in joining the state security apparatus and the civil service. This, of course, was to mean that the non-Malays were not patriotic and this horse manure was then used to justify policies that favoured one community over the others. If the top cop has to go, then Pakatan Harapan is on the right track. But the removal is treating the symptom and not the disease.
No real political will
Remember when I said that I do not have a problem admitting when I am wrong. Well, this is one of those occasions. When the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) man, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, joined Bersatu, I threw a little hissy fit, arguing that he was better of stirring the pot outside of political cabals. However, since he is now in the maelstrom, so to speak, this would be the perfect opportunity for Harapan to use the talents of young people like Wan Saiful to carry out reforms, especially when it concerns the state security apparatus. After all, it was Wan Saiful and Nicholas Chan who argued for decentralising the powers of the IGP, which I concurred with and Chan summarised it well:
“This paper aims to posit a scenario of reform whereby the accountability of the IGP is enhanced through having more structurally independent police chiefs in the country.
“The basis of this proposal stands on the premise that the IGP’s wide-ranging powers and interlocking relationship with the federal executive need to be dispersed, moderated and restructured in a way that is more reflective of Malaysia’s federated system and rising demands for local democracy from its populace.”
The IGP cosying up with whoever is the grand poobah in charge is, of course, part of the problem. A major part and what I found interesting about the Straits Times piece (if credible) is that all those special units which are supposed to handle specific crimes are, in reality, fronts for corrupt police officials to organise their schemes in a systemic manner which separates them for the rest of the police force.
Look at it this way. Say you are a group of corrupt cops linked with various drug syndicates. You know that your activities get in the way of regular policing. The top brass - not all of whom are corrupt - understand this too. So it’s more convenient if there is a specialised unit to handle the business of policing drugs than involving the rest of the police force. So cops get to look away and do not have to answer for and to with these specialised units. Consider this. In a functional democracy, in the West, there are already problems with these units so what more a country like Malaysia which has always been run by kleptocrats.
Going back to my piece on the slavers and killers of Wang Kelian, consider what the immigration officers told their interrogators when asked who was involved in the criminal activity: "It would be easier if you asked us for the names of officers not on the take." It is the same situation if we actually discovered the level of corruption in the police force with these so-called specialised units.
Keep in mind the state security apparatus is extremely protective of their operating procedures and tradecraft, some of which are no doubt immoral or illegal but part of maintaining the security of the realm. We are not talking about these things now. Not yet. We are talking about the corruption which has become a beast of its own.
Till this day, I get calls from former comrades who tell me that there are elements in the state security apparatus, both retired and still serving, who take exception to what I write. Why am I stirring up trouble, they ask. The country has made a turn for the better. Why write such pieces?
What keeps me going is that there are still serving personnel in our security apparatus who encourage me to draw attention to the decrepit state of the state security apparatus. Former police personnel who point me in the right direction, because after years of serving in a corrupt system and keeping their heads down – for fear of their lives in some cases – they see the Harapan regime as the final chance to get the state security apparatus back on track.
So far, I see no real political will to confront this issue. What I see are political operatives breathing a sigh of relief now that they are the ones in charge of the state security apparatus after decades of being on the receiving end of state-sanctioned brutality.
posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:11 AM  
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