THE discovery of mass graves of migrants near the Malaysian-Thai border brings into question the effectuality of the police. How is it that the police have not taken any action against human traffickers who have been operating for years? TheMalaysian police, especially its “GeneralOperations Force” (GOF), was established in 1948 during the Malayan Emergency by the British Administration. Then called the “Police Field Force” (PFF), it was mobilised primarily to engage anti-colonial guerillas in the jungle during the insurgency. After Malaysia was established in 1963, the field force was placed under the chief of police. The Police Field Force was also involved during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. In various actions during the Confrontation, the Police Field Force dealt with Indonesian irregulars sent to the peninsula. Following the May 13, 1969 incident, the government began to deploy the Police Field Force to handle public order situations. After the disarmament of theMalayan Communist Party on Dec 2, 1989, the PFF changed its name to the General Operations Force in 1997. Its duties included providing security to dignitaries and “VVIPs” around the Klang Valley, protecting the security of borders and territorial waters from invasion threats and illegal immigrants, robbery and smuggling at sea, maintaining public order and preventing crime. A GOF brigade is therefore trained, equipped andorganised for paramilitary roles in the field and also for dealing with urban “disturbances”. However, of late we have mainly witnessed GOF personnel deployed in dispersing peaceful assemblies. It is time for the government to rethink the priorities of the police. Stop using the police force to snoop on dissidents and to disrupt peaceful assemblies. Specially trainedpolicepersonnel likeGOF should be deployed in the jungle to deal with modern day criminals including human traffickers, illegal loggers and poachers of endangered species. If they could fight the anti-colonial guerillas for more than two decades, why are they ineffectual against human traffickers near the Thai border who have been operating for so many years? Is it a case of misplaced priorities by the Home Ministry? These serious questions do require a commission of enquiry to unravel the truth.
by Kua Kia Soong Suaram Ad’
the sun daily 27/5/2015