Aiming for world-class policing

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) during his official visit to the Bukit Tengah police station in Bukit Mertajam yesterday. On his left is Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi.

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Malaysia - Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the police force would be enhanced to meet world-class policing standards.

He said the ministry had mapped out a consolidation plan, to be implemented in stages in the next four years, which focuses on aspects of equipment and increasing the number of personnel and Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR).

"For example, the police to citizen ratio in the Seberang Prai Tengah district is 1:2,502 now, compared with the national standard of 1:320.

"As such, we need to improve various aspects to increase the membership of the PVR to boost efforts in tackling crime effectively," he said during his official visit to the Bukit Tengah police station here yesterday.

Zahid said the ministry would request for additional budget allocation from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to improve the force.

"I will request for an increase in allocation to enhance and improve several police stations, police contingent offices and police headquarters nationwide.

"This will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the force, in line with Barisan Nasional's manifesto, 'To create a modern policing', during the last general election."

Zahid said the government would have to gradually improve public perception about the force's efficiency in dealing with the people and the speed in handling cases reported to it.

"There is a need to raise the people's confidence in the force."

The police station underwent minor renovations after part of it was damaged after modified firecrackers exploded in its compound on Feb 8.

Personnel at the police station had a rude shock during the incident, and damage to the station's ceiling and glass panels at its information counter was estimated at between RM5,000 (S$1,930) and RM10,000.

No injuries were reported.

State Criminal Investigation Department deputy chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nasir Salleh had said the suspect used modified firecrackers that were tied together to make the explosive.

Meanwhile, state police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said investigations were ongoing.