KUCHING, Dec 1 — The Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) today appealed to the Home Ministry to increase, instead of reduce the number of Sarawak-born police personnel serving in the state.
Its president Datuk John Lau said there were more benefits to doing so, claiming that Sarawakians understand the local culture best, which aids in policing the community.
He added that the savings in transferring staff from other parts of the country could be channelled into other areas.
“Rather than spending money on transferring officers and shipment of personal effects, the money can be better used to repair police quarters and welfare which are more pressing issues.
“Imagine the amount of money incurred to transfer 30 per cent of Sarawak police force to other states and also to transfer into Sarawak a similar percentage of officers,” Lau said in response to Bukit Aman’s Management Department director Datuk Ramli Din.
Ramli, in a recent interview, said that the number of local police officers stationed in Sarawak and Sabah, at 70 per cent, exceeded the 40 per cent target for natives.
He said a reduction exercise would be carried out in stages based on work rotation, placement at sensitive posts and opportunities for officers and personnel who had long served in other places to return to their home states.
Lau urged Sarawak MPs to raise the issue with the Home Ministry in the Dewan Rakyat which is sitting now.
He said a study carried out by a doctorate student last year showed Sarawak’s average crime rate has been nearly halved in the last 10 years — from 410 cases in 2010 to 213 in 2019, or 48 per cent.
He said it was largely attributed to the dedication of the local police personnel working with the local communities.
“These figures were obtained from crime statistics available from the Statistics Department, with Sarawak’s average crime rate in 2019 below the national average of 256.6,” Lau said.
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