PETALING JAYA: The number of Chinese applying to join the police force has risen by more than 600% following a nationwide drive to recruit more constables from the community.
Bukit Aman assistant director of personnel (recruitment) Asst Comm Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said there were 3,881 applications as of last Tuesday and the police were optimistic of receiving over 5,000 applications by the time the campaign ends this Wednesday.
He said the campaign, which kicked off on March 3, had attracted a record number of applications from Chinese youths in two months compared to the whole of last year when only 500 Chinese applied for the post of constable. Recruitment is for youths aged between 18 and 28.
Increasing the Chinese presence would help promote national unity and enhance the force, he said, adding that most applicants came from Negri Sembilan, Johor and Pahang.
ACP Saiful said this was the first time a drive for constables was carried out and attributed the good response to the police's personal touch.
"Our officers went to the ground to address all the misconceptions and spoke to potential recruits and their families. Instead of focusing on malls, we went to semi-urban and rural areas in every state and worked closely with the community and non-governmental organisations.
"From our feedback, many Chinese youths are keen to join the force but don't know how to apply. They wait for recruitment advertisements, not knowing that application forms are online," he said, adding that the applicants would undergo a physical test and an interview next month.
"Hopefully, we can get them in after the Hari Raya holidays in July. If there are insufficient vacancies for those who pass the physical and interview stage, the applicants will be considered again next year."
He said there were many departments in the force that people were unaware about.
"We need translators, pilots, administrators, engineers and even IT experts to investigate white collar crimes."
The campaign aims to increase the number of Chinese policemen from 1,974 to over 5,000, or at least 5% of the force which currently has 115,000 uniformed personnel.
"The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar will be briefed on the result of the campaign once it is over and he will decide what comes next," said ACP Saiful.