IGP must act to restore confidence
The recent police shoot out in Klang that killed five suspected criminals is regrettable and deeply disturbing.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan righty said that the responsibility of the police is to protect and rescue law-abiding citizens, and not to protect criminals who kill to escape arrest. It is clearly within the right of the police to act in self-defense and protect the lives of innocent by-standers. If the police really acted in self defense as he claims, then there is absolutely no reason to question them for their actions. However if otherwise,as claimed by many, then we have some serious problems to address as we had lost five young Malaysians at the prime of their lives who were yet to be proven to be criminals.
The IGP strongly denied all allegations by various quarters including some members of parliament that the police was trigger happy and only targeted the Indian community. These are serious allegations that have instilled fear and anxiety in the minds of the vast majority of the Indian parents regarding the safety of their children who are decent law abiding citizens.As Indian parents we fear the safety of our young children when they are out with their friends even for healthy activities.
While the IGP’s reassurances are welcome he must do more to allay the fears among the people as a number of questions remains unanswered regarding the recent shooting in Klang where five suspected criminals were shot dead by the police.So far we only have the police side of the story which the people are not willing to believe as result of past experiences.
This is not the first time for such a controversial police action. A number of similar shooting incidences before were ignored despite calls for thorough investigation. This has created a negative public perception of the police. These perceptions may be wrong but the onus is on the IGP and the police to correct it with some urgency as the fear among the people for their safety in genuine.
The shooting must not be made into a racial issue as that will only lead to cover up and pushing the problem under the carpet. Instead it questions the professionalism of our police force and the IGP and the government should act to prove that the assault on the alleged robbers was in accordance with the set laws governing such operations. They must ensure that all rules were followed and all precautions taken to avoid unnecessary deaths.
Was indiscriminate force used by the police? What was the evidence to indicate that the suspects were the real criminals? Did the suspected criminals open fire at the police? These are the questions that need to be answered. This can only be done by a professional and unbiased investigation into the incident to reveal the truth.
Only by doing so can the allegations against the police be proven false and the negative image erased from the minds of the people at large. There have been too many such incidences that brings into question the reputation and integrity of our police which was held in high esteem. The IGP and the government must take this opportunity to restore the confidence of the rakyat on the police force as the true guardian of their safety.