THE whopping RM8.8bil set aside to enhance the police force, including improving its quarters and arming personnel with sufficient equipment, showed the Government’s commitment in ensuring the rakyat’s safety, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin.
Welcoming the allocation under Budget 2014, he pledged to use the sum “wisely to ensure the success of all programmes aimed at combating crime”.
In his announcement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak voiced his appreciation to the police force, as well as a RM128mil grant for the building and upgrading of headquarters and stations in various parts of the country.
Najib said, in light of the spate of shooting cases this year, the force would also receive the latest firearms, ammunition, bullet-proof vests, narcotic detectors, biometric systems and forensic vehicles.
Bakri said the force was grateful for the Government’s support, adding that it would “boost morale” among police personnel.
Federal Crime Prevention Department director Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the allocation would help the force combat crime effectively.
“It is a proactive approach to ensure that the police have the necessary tools to solve crime while enhancing crime prevention efforts at the same time,” he said. “It will also enable us to collaborate with all sectors of the community.”
The decision to boost the number of motorcycles for the Motorcycle Patrol Unit, said Comm Ayub, was also a move in the right direction.
“The unit has been very effective in curbing crime and increasing the omnipresence of the police,” he said. “With more motorcycles, we will be able to cover more areas.”
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye concurred.
“With better quarters, police personnel can focus on their work without worrying about their families at home,” he said, reminding the police to be more responsible in taking care of their equipment and weapons.
“They will have better equipment but they must show greater responsibility. With such good support from the Government, the police really have to improve and become more efficient.”
On the RM75mil allocated for Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), Esscom director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek said the funds would be utilised towards increasing sea patrols by acquiring boats and weapons.
This was part of efforts to increase their overall defence capacity, he said.
He said the money would also be used for operational expenditure, especially in preparation to accommodate five additional security battalions to be placed in various security posts along the zone.
“We currently have 486 vessels patrolling our waters,” he added.
With the additional funds, he said more vessels could be purchased to monitor maritime activities around the coastline, which stretches 1,733km across northern Kudat to the southeastern Tawau district.