Our newly appointed Prime Minister, Najib Razak, introduced the 1Malaysia concept on 16th of September 2008. It was an ongoing campaign to symbolize unity, integrity, ethnic equality and loyalty. The purpose of 1Malaysia was to unite and bring Malaysians together as one, and eliminate the prejudice among them. The Royal Malaysian Police or P.D.R.M (Polis Di-Raja Malaysia) did not adhere to this concept of creating “togetherness”. Instead of serving and protecting the Malaysian citizens, they suppress and oppress them by using unnecessary force, bribery and insulting citizens. This was not what 1Malaysia had to offer, which made the majority of Malaysians terrified with the police.
When people view a police officer, they tend to feel a sense of security and justice, but here in Malaysia it is not what we were hoping. According to the 1Malaysia concept, the police are supposed to perform at their level of excellence to uphold the law and deliver justice on the streets of Malaysia. They achieved that by maintaining a lower crime rate and offering assistance to the public; these are ways, at which the police maintained its image and correlates with the 1Malaysia concept. However, this was not the case which majority of Malaysians had anticipated.
What the Royal Malaysian Police had to offer, were far beyond anything what Malaysians had seen. On July 2011, peaceful protestors from the peace rally “Bersih 2.0” met heavy resistance with the Police. Tear gas canisters were under fire directly at the protesters, which resulted in one fatality; several protesters who were detained then beaten by the police in an attempt to stop the rally. Following the peace rally incident, on September 2011, a police officer on patrol opened fire and killed a 15-year-old boy for running a traffic light. These sparked rage on hundreds of Malaysians for the cruel acts the police had portrait. . Despite that, many of Malaysians were still oblivious by the corruption lurking in the police force.
Many Malaysians today have their rights taken away from them by the police through corruption and misuse of power. Common cases, where Malaysians face every day, are police officers bribing passing motorist for money. These traffic officers would stop passing motorists and accuse them for speeding. The officers then ask for an exchange, where he would agree not to give a speeding ticket, only if the motorist agrees to pay them at that given spot. Other related cases are, when the police are abusing their powers by taking advantages on female detainees behind closed-cell blocks. These cases had a profound impact on the Malaysian citizens as their rights are being violated.
Ever since the growing numbers in police brutality and corruption, Malaysians are running afraid of the police. Being a Malaysian means to be detrimental to trust the police, when they are the ones committing the crimes. The numerous cases of corrupted police and police brutality have taken its toll on Malaysians today. Many lose their respects towards them and insist to take the law into their own hands. Citizens have also gathered to establish a group that fights against the police brutality and giving rights to those in need. When such group arises, this means that the police in Malaysia are no longer able uphold the law or hold society together.
Overall, the Royal Malaysian Police did not perform accordingly to the 1Malaysia concept. Instead of advertising positive images, they were inflicting negative images to the Malaysian public. Engaging with excessive force and violence to stop peaceful rallies as well as lethal forces for minor traffic violators were anything beyond human. Misuse of power and bribery were cases Malaysians just could not handle. The acts done by the police left scars on many Malaysians and as a result, created groups that replaced the police.