12 June 2007

Johari hits out over vacant state police chief positions


KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharum has once again taken the police to task, this time for alleged poor planning.

Two months after going head-on with the police top brass over the rise in crime, Johari yesterday let fly at the force again when he expressed his amazement that the position of Kuala Lumpur police chief was still vacant.

Former city police chief Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Yusof retired in December last year and SAC I Zulhasnan Najib Baharuddin had been the acting police chief since.

"If a senior police officer is due to retire, then a successor should be ready to take over the reins," Johari said after launching the new logo and flag of the Ex-Police and Army Family Welfare Association.

"Six months without a police chief is too long. This is the first time in the history of the force that there has been no successor for such an important post."
He said it was no surprise why the crime index here increased by 42 per cent in the first four months this year.

"There is no chief to lead the troops," he quipped.

Johari said the situation was similar in Perak and Sabah, where successors had not been named after the police chiefs retired a month ago.

He hoped that the police would resolve this problem immediately.

In April, Johari was at loggerheads with the police after he accused them of trying to hoodwink the public over the crime statistics, especially in Sentul.

"I will visit the Sentul district police headquarters soon. I won’t be going there to find fault with the police but to find out what they have done to reduce crime. I also want to know if they are facing any problems," he said.

Johari also attributed the rise in crime to the increase in illegal immigrants, whom he claimed were involved in snatch thefts, burglaries, robberies and motorcycle thefts.

"A centre should be set up for foreign workers so that they can be easily monitored."

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