I was attracted to the opinion of Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador that raising the salaries of the lower ranks of the police force would minimise acts of corruption among them.
At the on-set, it is my view that the salaries of our lower ranks, in not only the police force but the entire civil service, and by extension the private sector, are pathetic!
That being the case, though, there is, in my opinion, no justification for our men in blue to compromise their pledge to the crown and the nation to uphold the laws of the country. They are the entrusted enforcers of law and order. They ought to wear their uniforms with pride and dignity and perform their duties regardless of their salary.
They must, at all times, uphold the integrity of the police force. In any case, it was they who chose to be members of the police force having full knowledge of their income.
While the IGP has selectively mentioned the salary of the lower ranks of the force as a likely cause of corruption, what I wish to postulate is this: why, then, are the higher ranks in the police force also involved in corruption? Given the IGP’s view of low salaries in the lower ranks as a reason for acts of corruption, is he also making a statement that even the higher ranking officers are corrupt because of low salary?
Whether it is low salary or not, what is of importance is the culture of executing one’s job within the parameters of honesty and fear of God almighty. And to those who elect to do otherwise, I say face your Maker when it is due!
K Veeriah is the secretary of the Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.