You are on page 1of 10

Research for Social Advancement Security Royal Malaysian Police

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Staffing the Police More active policemen please, not more policemen
Half of Malaysians still fear crime. The number of reported crimes plunged 58% between 2008 and 2010. This might have been helped by the reassignment of some policemen to core policing functions following the 2005 Royal Commission report. However, 49% - nearly half - of Malaysians still feel unsafe and fear becoming crime victims. We have enough policemen. The 106,000 policemen we have currently is equivalent to a ratio of 1 policeman to 270 Malaysians, not far from the 1:250 that Interpol recommends. However, we could deploy our police force more effectively. 41% of our policemen are in management or administration. This works out to each manager/administrator managing or serving fewer than two active policemen on average! Large scope for redeployment. In addition, the General Operations Force, originally formed to fight communist insurgents, has nearly 15,000 personnel. This is far higher than the 9,000 at the CID (Criminal Investigation Department). But, the communists have long laid down their arms, and Malaysia has become more developed and urban. Hence, the reverse would seem more appropriate i.e. the CID should be the larger unit. Lets improve efficiency. There are plans to add 50,000 police officers by 2015. We suggest existing police officers be retrained, redeployed and upgraded instead. Lower crime rates and stronger public confidence can then justify salary increases and help develop an even more professional police force. If you agree, please sign and send the attached letter to the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs. You may also do so on-line via www.refsa.org.
Lam Choong Wah, Public Policy Researcher choongwah@refsa.org
...the Commission is of the view that the fundamental issue in PDRM is not additional establishment, but the realignment of existing uniformed personnel from non-core policing and nonpolicing functions to core functions The 2005 Report of the Royal Commission to enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, p. 358

106,000 police officers

43,000 managers/administrators Fewer than 10,000 CID Sign our petition - let's get police officers back to active police work!

Page 1 of 10

106,000 policemen is plenty for our 29 million population


In the 9 years from 2001 to 2010, Malaysias police force grew from 82,135 to 106,079 officers 1 , much faster than our population. Cumulatively, it grew by 29%, while our population grew by only 22%. The 106,079 policemen we had in 2010 is equivalent to one policeman for every 270 Malaysians. This 1:270 ratio is close to the 1:250 that Interpol recommends2, and better than our neighbours Thailand (1:321) and Singapore (1:396), and developed Commonwealth countries Australia (1:342) and the UK (1:380). Chart 1: Malaysia has more policemen per citizen than many other countries (chart below shows number of citizens per policeman)

Sources: UNODC/HEUNI, International Statistics on Crime and Justice , 2010; Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman bin Haji Yusop s oral reply to YB Wee Choo Keong (Independent Wangsa Maju) in Parliament on 16 Mar 2011; Hong Kong Police Force, Police in Figures 2010; UK Home Office, Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2010; Australian Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services 2011.

Police Redeployment

Ministry of Home Affairs written reply to YB Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), 8 Mar 7 Apr 2011 Parliamentary session. 2 Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman bin Haji Yusops oral reply to YB Wee Choo Keong (Independent Wangsa Maju) in Parliament on 16 Mar 2011 Focus Paper 2011/08/26 Page 2 of 10

However, despite this, our serious crime rate is generally higher than in those countries. We are outstripped in murder cases only by Thailand, and we have more reported rape incidents than Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Chart 2: We are outstripped in murder cases only by Thailand

Chart 3: More reported rapes than Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand

Sources: Laporan Tahunan PDRM 2009; Singapore Police Force's Annual Statistical Report on Crime 2009; Thailand's The Nation, "Crime rate up 10%, incidence of rape rises," July 5th, 2009; Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2010; UK Home Office, Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2009/10; Hong Kong, Police in Figures 2010.

Note: Australia is excluded as its 67:100,000 ratio includes sexual threats, unwanted touching and indecent exposure Sources: Laporan Tahunan PDRM 2009; Singapore Police Force's Annual Statistical Report on Crime 2009; Thailand's The Nation, "Crime rate up 10%, incidence of rape rises," July 5th, 2009; Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2010; UK Home Office, Crime in England and Wales 2009/10; Hong Kong, Police in Figures 2010.

Police Redeployment

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Page 3 of 10

Poor deployment is an issue


Chart 4: Nearly 18,000 or 20% of our policemen are engaged in noncore management and logistics work

Source: Royal Commission Report, 2005

The Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in 2005, said the PDRM (Polis Diraja Malaysia) has sufficient manpower the challenge for PDRM is not in numbers but rather in how they are deployed. The Royal Commission considered it important that uniformed police personnel should be deployed only in core policing functions that require police competencies and powers. These functions would be: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Maintenance of law and order; Preservation of peace and security of Malaysia; Prevention and detection of crime; Apprehension and investigation of offenders; and Collection of security intelligence.

Police Redeployment

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Page 4 of 10

Civilian professionals and staff or outsourced entities would conduct non-core policing functions. These supporting functions are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Human resources management; Administration; Finance; Transport and Logistics.

The Royal Commission estimated that about 20,000 uniformed personnel, or 22% of the total 90,256 officers at the time of its inquiry, could be freed to go back to active core policing work. These would be mainly from the Management and Logistics Departments.

Aside: Uniformed police personnel should not be taken literally. A police officer does not have to be wearing a uniform to be considered uniformed. For example, he could be a plainclothes policeman. A uniformed police personnel is someone who has undergone police training and has been sworn in before a senior police officer of Superintendent rank or above. He will carry a Police Authority Card and has police powers such as the authority to stop and ask for a persons name and IC number, arrest, investigate, search, and the use necessary force to overcome resistance to arrest.

Police Redeployment

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Page 5 of 10

Still plenty of scope for redeployment


Subsequently, in its 2010 Annual Report on the Government Transformation Programme, PEMANDU said 14,222 officers - 8,140 General Operations Force (GOF) and 7,402 back office personnel had been reassigned since 2008 to crime hotspot areas in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Penang to carry out crime prevention duties. The number of reported crimes fell 58% in that period from 423,290 to 177,520 cases3. However, a government-commissioned survey from April to May 20114 found that 49% of the people still feared becoming victims of crime. It was lower than the 59% in Dec 2009, but still, equal to about half the people of Malaysia5. In fact, despite the redeployment cited by PEMANDU, the total number, as well as proportion, of policemen in management and the GOF has actually increased further from the already high base at the time of the Royal Commissions inquiry.

Table 1: Management and GOF numbers are still increasing from already high levels
Number of policemen Feb-05 2010 32,931 43,126 19,164 18,264 11,350 14,551 10,466 10,097 7,869 9,335 5,026 5,102 3,071 4,014 379 1,420 170 90,256 106,079 Change 31% -5% 28% -4% 19% 2% 31% 275% NA % of police force Feb-05 2010 36.5 40.7 21.2 17.2 12.6 13.7 11.6 9.5 8.7 8.8 5.6 4.8 3.4 3.8 0.4 1.3 0.2 100.0 100.0

Management/Administration Internal Security/Public Order excl. GOF General Operations Force Logistics CID Special Branch Narcotics Commercial Crimes Special Task Force

The Special Task Force was established on 1 Mar 2009 to counter terrorism, organized crime and militant activities. Sources: 2005 data from Royal Commission report. 2010 from Ministry of Home Affairs written reply to YB Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), 8 Mar 7 Apr 2011 Parliamentary session.

Police Redeployment

1Klik portal, Cegah Jenayah Tanggungjawab Bersama, http://pmr.penerangan.gov.my/index.php/component/content/article/462-nkra-kadar-jenayah/9358-cegahjenayah-tanggungjawab-bersama.html 4 PEMANDU statement on 31 July 2011, carried in various media including Bernama. 5 Government Transformation Programme: Annual Report 2010, PEMANDU. Focus Paper 2011/08/26 Page 6 of 10

Raise productivity, not headcount


There are plans to add another 50,000 officers by 20156, a huge increase of 47% over last years total. It would take our police to population ratio to 1:209, far higher than Interpols recommendation and that of many countries perceived as safe, as shown in Chart 1. We already have a high number of policemen. Deployment is the issue. As shown in the chart below: 1. Combined, more than half our policemen are in management and non-core logistics functions. In 2005, the Royal Commission identified 7,436 of the then 32,931 management personnel as carrying out non-core functions. Instead of falling, the total number of management personnel rose 31% to 43,126 by 2010; and The General Operations Forces 14,551 personnel is far higher than the 9,335 at the CID and 1,420 at the Commercial Crimes Unit. The GOF was formed to conduct jungle operations against communist insurgents, but the communists have long since laid down their arms, and Malaysia has become increasingly urban. It appears sensible that the CID and Commercial Crimes Units should be larger than the GOF.

2.

Chart 5: Combined, over 50% of policemen are in management and non-core logistics functions

Police Redeployment

Sources: 2010 from Ministry of Home Affairs written reply to YB Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), 8 Mar 7 Apr 2011 Parliamentary session and REFSA.

PDRM sasar capai 150,000 menjelang 2015. Bernama 24 Mar 2011. Page 7 of 10

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

We suggest that the budget for new policemen be applied to redeployment, retraining and productivity enhancements instead. In particular: 1. Trained, sworn-in, uniformed police officers should be reassigned from non-core management/administration and logistics work to core policing functions such as crime prevention. If necessary, civil servants can be hired to undertake the non-core functions; and General Operations Force (GOF) personnel should be retrained, redesignated and redeployed to functions more appropriate to Malaysias current state of development, such as to the CID and Commercial Crimes Unit.

2.

Police Redeployment

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Page 8 of 10

Kepada: YB Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein


Minister of Home Affairs Blok D1 & D2, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan 62546 Putrajaya Email: hishammuddin@moha.gov.my

Y.B. Datuk Seri, Making better use of our police resources I refer to the report by not-for-profit research institute REFSA (Research for Social Advancement Bhd) entitled More active policemen please, not more policemen, dated 26 August 2011. The report notes that many policemen are engaged in non-core activities. It suggests that: 1) Policemen be mobilized from non-core management, administrative and logistics positions to active core police work such as crime prevention. If necessary, civil servants can be transferred to undertake the non-core functions; and 2) The size of active police units be adjusted to reflect current conditions in Malaysia. For example, the General Operations Force, which was originally formed to counter communist insurgents, is far larger than the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It would appear the reverse should now be the case. The suggestions appear sensible to me. As a civic-minded citizen of Malaysia, I am sending this letter to you for your kind consideration.

Yours sincerely,

.. Name: Date: IC Number: Contact (Address/Email/Phone):

About REFSA
REFSA is an independent, not-for-profit research institute that provides relevant and reliable information on social, economic and political issues affecting Malaysians. We aim to promote open and constructive discussions that result in effective policies to address these issues. To this end, REFSA has been publishing books and organizing workshops and talks. We are now expanding to include focus papers on policy issues, such as this one. These will clearly set out facts and issues and, more importantly, suggest solutions, all in a style that is easily understood by Malaysians from all walks of life. Donations and Contact REFSA depends primarily on donations to fund its operations. Research such as this consumes much time, expertise and effort. Please contribute if you share our vision for a better Malaysia and support our commitment to impartial, constructive research. Please visit our website at www.refsa.org. For enquiries, book orders, or to make a donation, please contact us at Tel 03-9285 5808 and Fax 603-9281 8104. You may also bank in donations directly to our Public Bank account number 3128- 1874-30 under Research for Social Advancement Bhd". Credit REFSA allows authorship of derivative works and other transformations of this publication for personal, non-profit/non-commercial use, subject to the inclusion of proper and appropriate credit to REFSA - Research for Social Advancement. REFSA expressly prohibits the use of the whole or any part of this publication for defamatory or criminal purposes. Other Information The information in this report has been obtained from and is based upon sources that are believed to be reliable but no guarantee is made as to accuracy and completeness. REFSA in its role as editor and publisher of this report provided input mainly pertaining to clarity and analytical cogency. The contents and views herein remain the sole responsibility of the author unless otherwise explicitly stated.

Police Redeploymentl

Focus Paper 2011/08/26

Page 10 of 10