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King To Be Appointed Honorary Commissioner Of Police: A Step Towards Enhancing The Men In Blue

King To Be Appointed Honorary Commissioner Of Police: A Step Towards Enhancing The Men In Blue

This amendment aims to honour the King’s role in the ceremonial affairs of the police force and recognise his position as the supreme head of the nation under Article 32 of the Federal Constitution.

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In a historic decision, the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s House of Representatives, has passed the Police (Amendment) Bill 2024 on 21 March.

The bill, debated by 15 Members of Parliament and passed through a voice vote after its third reading, includes a significant provision that appoints the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the King of Malaysia, as the Honorary Commissioner of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).

According to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, the amendment honours the King’s role in the ceremonial affairs of the police force and recognizes his position as the supreme head of the nation under Article 32 of the Federal Constitution.

The bill also acknowledges the King’s power to appoint the Inspector-General of Police and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police under Article 140(4) upon the recommendation of the Police Force Commission (SPP) and after considering the advice of the Prime Minister.

The appointment of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Honorary Commissioner of Police is a symbolic gesture that highlights the importance of the monarchy in Malaysia’s governance.

It reinforces the King’s role as a unifying figure and a symbol of national unity while emphasizing the need for the police force to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in serving the nation.

While some concerns were raised about the potential implications of the King’s involvement in the police force, Shamsul Anuar clarified that the amendment does not grant the King any operational control over the police.

The power of command and control of the police force remains with the Inspector-General of Police, as stipulated in the Police Act 1967.

Steep Penalties for Roadway Defiance: A New Era of Police Authority and Compliance

The amendment further stipulates a hike in the penalty under Section 7(2), elevating the fine from RM100 to RM5,000.

This increase targets police officers who have ceased their service yet fail to return issued service equipment, including weapons and ammunition, among other items.

Although no cases have been recorded thus far, the increase in the fine is seen as a preventive measure and is deemed appropriate given the passage of time since the provision was last amended in 1967.

The new legislation introduced also includes modifying Clause 4 to revise Section 21.

This amendment authorizes police officers to perform escort duties on public roads.

Under the new provision, individuals who obstruct, resist, or do not adhere to police directives could face a penalty of up to RM10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to two years.

This is a significant increase from the former punishment of RM200 and two months’ imprisonment.

The Significance of the Police (Amendment) Bill 2024

The passing of the Police (Amendment) Bill 2024 is a step towards enhancing the PDRM and ensuring that the force remains accountable, transparent, and responsive to the people’s needs.

By acknowledging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s ceremonial role as the Honorary Commissioner of Police, the amendment reaffirms the monarchy’s importance in Malaysia’s governance.

It also highlights the need for the police to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in serving the nation.

Although troubling incidents in recent times have raised concerns about the conduct and professionalism of some members of the police force, it is important to recognize that a few bad apples do not mean the whole force is ineffective.

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Most PDRM officers serve with dedication, integrity, and professionalism, often risking their lives to protect the public.

As Malaysia continues to face the challenges of the 21st century, the PDRM will play a vital role in maintaining law and order, protecting citizens’ rights and freedoms, and ensuring the safety and security of the nation.

Indeed, the recognition of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s ceremonial role as the Honorary Commissioner of Police underscores the enduring partnership between the monarchy and the police force in serving the people of Malaysia.

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