Articles, Opinions & Views: PDRM – So far so good - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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No Atheists
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

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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PDRM – So far so good - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, April 06, 2020
The duties of an officer are the safety, honour, and welfare of your country first; the honour, welfare, and comfort of the men in your command second; and the officer's own ease, comfort, and safety last.– George S Patton
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | One of the more interesting aspects of the movement control order (MCO) is that the average rakyat has had more interactions with the state security apparatus, specifically the PDRM. This is funny, of course, because if people were seriously following the MCO, they would not be interacting with the police.
While the press and social media highlight the negative encounters between the citizenry and the police, anecdotally speaking, I believe for the most part the experience has been positive. Public relations officers of the PDRM tell me that when they make an “arrest”, they are merely following their standard operating procedure (SOP) and while they understand that some folks will be upset, they are always mindful of the way it plays out in social media.
Another very senior police officer asked me to relay the message to readers to separate their politics from how they view police action at this time. He is very well aware that a certain segment of the population does not trust the PDRM and the words of politicians and some police officers have made it worse. Howdever, he said, the police force just wants to ensure the safety of everyone.
He said that every day he is worried that a news story breaks showing the PDRM in a bad light or people behaving badly with the police. In both situations, political parties and their supporters cause more problems for the police by either justifying bad behaviour (sometimes using racialist language) or demonising the police force.
True, the police personnel I speak to are mostly from the urban enclaves but from what they tell me and indeed from numerous readers - again anecdotally – the PDRM has been professional in executing their duties. The police personnel I speak to (sometimes working in concert with military personnel) have expressed surprise that for the most, part citizens are polite and understand the need of the MCO and generally are supportive of government actions.
The problem has always been that the political class makes these orders and people are left wondering about how exactly they are going to be implemented. Now, what the government has done right is to allow the PDRM a certain level of discretion when it comes to controlling movement. This presents a whole set of variables, which sometimes make enforcement seem arbitrary.
Charles Hector is correct when he wrote: “During this period when Malaysia is facing the Covid-19 threat, normal procedures and practices of administration of criminal justice should be abandoned in favour of the observance of the intention of the MCO. “If the police detain them, then it is certainly a violation of the very intention of the MCO – social distancing, among others. The suspects, the arresting and transporting officers, all those in the police station, are put at risk of infection. Lock-ups hold many other detainees, which are usually overcrowded.”
TK Chua, in his letter puts it succinctly: “I would prefer that the authorities warn and fine the violators on the spot rather than arresting and putting them in lock-ups. Only violators who remain stubborn and uncouth are to be arrested.”

The funny thing is, that nearly every police personnel I spoke to expressed the same point as Charles and Chua. They did not view people who broke the MCO as “criminals” and they most certainly did not think it was wise to round them up in this time when everyone is supposed to be social distancing.
Orang atas mesti tell us to release people or issue kompaun on the spot,“ a young police officer told me, standing the required distance apart while having coffee, late one evening. “Kita tak mahu arrest orang,“ he said “tapi isu kompaun lebih senang dan selamat”.
He said he and his colleagues have heard all sorts of excuses as to why people are going out and they have learnt to spot the fakers from the genuine cases. He is of the belief that if people know they will get fined if they go out without proper reason, they will stay at home.
In his experience, the young police officer added, people with genuine reasons to be out could, normally, prove the necessity of their outing, with documentation and such. He believes only a small section of the population intentionally wants to break the MCO orders.
One young man told me that he thought there was going to be an issue with taking his wife for her pre-natal appointments, which would take them beyond the 10km radius limit. This was before the government had firmed up the policy, making exceptions and such. At the police roadblock, a young soldier directed the couple to speak to his “police superior” to get the go-ahead.
The young father-to-be did this, offering his wife’s medical card, and talking a bit to this “senior” police officer, and he and his wife were allowed through the road. It was a pleasant drive through KL with very little traffic”, this young man said.
What was interesting to me, and this was not the first example that was related to me about how well the military seems to be working with the PDRM. At least publicly – which is the most important aspect – the military and the PDRM seem to be working in concert.
Ranking police personnel have told me that so far there have been no major hiccups when it comes to working with the military, which was one of their initial fears when the military was brought into the picture.
Another young police officer – a recent mother herself – said the PDRM just wants people to be safe. She is manning the helplines but she sometimes has to help out in hospitals, which essentially puts her in harm's way.
She just wants the people to know that the PDRM is not “interested” in arresting people. In fact, when the roads and public spaces are empty, most of them breathe a sigh of relief because it makes their job safer and they do not have to get tough with recalcitrant people, which makes their job even harder.
What the political class needs to understand is the spirit and intent of the MCO is protective, not punitive. Enforcement should reflect this.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:25 AM  
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