Wasted cops and money - show us some integrity

HARESH SAYS as published in The Malay Mail today.

While cops weed out criminals on the streets, they should also look within. — Picture by Malay Mail
Do what I say, don't do what I do?

Here are two reasons why I am forced to shave.

A. My wife hates it when I have facial hair

B. Victim of stereotyping. With the long hair and fully inked arm, cops often tend to pull me aside perhaps assuming I am a drug addict, a drug mule or someone related to drugs.

The sentiments of my wife aside, here we have the men in blue whom we trust to make sure our society is free (or almost free) of criminal activities. For that, I am willing to whip out my identification card, driving licence and even flash a smile each time they pull me over.

But the arrest of 14 policemen who tested positive for drugs during a nation building camp — supposedly an enhancing and integrity course —  is certainly a slap to the face of the force.

The 14 were randomly selected among 87 personnel who were participating in the camp which started over the weekend in Ulu Kenas, Kuala Kangsar.

Now imagine if all 87 were tested.

What about the others nationwide? How many of them would also be guilty of committing such crime while donning the blue uniform?

This is not a police-bashing commentary for we do have, despite the scepticism of many, fine policemen among us. They include commercial crimes deputy director (operation and intelligence) Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan, TTDI’s Inspector Jamil Khalid and KL deputy police chief Datuk Amar Singh.
However, some police officers need to be mindful that they are not above the law just because they don the uniform.

The ‘perks’ of being a police officer come with a price — that their every move is scrutinised by the masses.

It is good that Perak police were transparent in divulging such information despite it being a public relations nightmare for the force. Transparency and accountability are rare commodities these days and those who uphold them should not be penalised.

But here’s a gentle reminder to cops — even those with short hair, clean shaven and in certain cases don uniforms do abuse drugs. Take it easy with the stereotyping and maintain your integrity.

I feel stupid filing my taxes (sic)

Yes I do.

As I am in the midst of compiling receipts to file my taxes this month, the recent Auditor-General’s report has left me cringing — yet again.

Millions in tax payers’ money were spent and overspent as government agencies justify them in the name of necessity.

The National Higher Education Fund, which is often quick to blacklist graduates who do not pay on time, had over 100 laptops left idle in its storerooms and it cost over RM100,000 in unnecessary rental.

The Education Ministry would need to explain why the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris has been in operation since 2012 although it does not have a certificate of fitness.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would also haul up the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry over the delay in the completion of the RM343.55 million Peda Dam in Besut, Terengganu which was awarded through a direct tender to a company.

Perhaps PAC could also ask the ministry to explain what happened to the Tuna Port project and why it has yet to be completed despite a concession agreement in 2004?

More importantly what are the steps and measures taken to tackle this annual woe?

Government agencies ought to realise they are accountable to the people. While the transparency and accountability of the Auditor-General are appreciated, let it be clear that those who file their taxes are not amused.

To the powers-that-be, please have some integrity. Use our money wisely. You can start by fixing those pothole-riddled roads.

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