‘Bad apples’ will be weeded out, says DPM

By Azdee Amir

SHAH ALAM, May 20 — There will be no quarter given or protection extended to enforcement officers who break the law, and those nabbed will face stern action.

“We are determined to clean up enforcement agencies,” Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

The DPM, who is also Home Minister, said the ministry will carry out a thorough clean-up to rid enforcement agencies under its jurisdiction of personnel involved in crime.

This, he said, was ongoing and not seasonal.

“We must be on the alert because there are those among us who have bad traits, which can ‘spoil the barrel’,” he told a press conference after a meeting with staff and students of Universiti Teknologi Mara at its campus here.

“This clean-up process will not be seasonal, but a constant and continuous effort to weed out such ‘rotten apples’ and punish them to the full extent of the law for betraying the trust and faith placed in them to uphold the law in the first place,” said Ahmad Zahid.

“My stand is clear and so is the message, if any officer or personnel breaks the law, they will be nabbed as I will not tolerate such sinful acts of betrayal under my leadership,” he added. 

Ahmad Zahid was commenting on the arrests of 11 people, including police officers and civilians, in Melaka during separate operations against those involved in a protection racket with underworld activities.

He stressed that he did not want such incidents to taint any enforcement agency under the Home Ministry and other ministries as well.

Ahmad Zahid said he met with the Melaka police chief on Thursday and told him there was no place for dirty cops on the force and that they should be nabbed.

“There can be no excuses for law enforcement officers and personnel, even if they claim to have been duped, used or forced, there is simply no excuse,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said such incidents are being monitored by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak through information relayed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other relevant agencies.

On the police announcement on Monday of a large-scale clean-up in the Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) following the arrests of more than 15  policemen suspected to be protecting syndicates, Ahmad Zahid said the clean-up would encompass all departments within the force.

“We want to conduct an overall clean-up because what has allegedly happened in Melaka does not involve the narcotics department but the serious crimes division,” he said.

The policemen have been remanded for several days since Wednesday to assist in investigations into the collection of money to provide protection for massage parlours and illegal gambling dens in Melaka.

Ahmad Zahid said the action of such “rotten apples” perpetuated the negative perception the public has of the police even though the national crime rate had dropped.

“Police have taken excellent measures to reduce the crime rate but the public perception remains unchanged due to this problem.

“This is also the reason why we are committed to addressing this problem so as to improve the image of the police force,” he said.