Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Slogans Are Feel-Good Giimmicks That Don't Work.

There is marked drop in the number of police officers and other ranks investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) last year than in two previous years, the Dewan Negara was told Wednesday. Internal Security Deputy Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said 56 police officers and other rank policemen were investigated for corrupt practices last year compared to 78 in 2004 and 85 in 2003.

The I hate Corruption slogan introduced by the police last year had contributed to the decline in corruption, he said when replying to Senator Fatanah Ahmad who wanted to know to what extent the slogan had been effective in distancing policemen from corruption. Mohd Johari said posters and vehicle stickers had been sent to all police stations to increase public awareness that it was an offence to give bribes.

Replying to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir who wanted to know whether the slogan had tarnished the image of the police force, he said the police force happily accepted the slogan.

**** I'm beginning to have a lot of respect for this Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir who seems to be asking all the right questions, unlike some of the other YBs who merely either warm their seats or maximum, thump the tables on cue. The most apt question is "has the sloganeering tarnished the police force?" For example if we have a sign that says 'don't spread rumours' it implies that there are many rumourmongers amidst us. Similarly the real impact of the slogan is more towards the negative despite whatever the government spokesman says.

To deduce that there is a decline in corruption partly due to the adopting of an ineffectual slogan is laughable. Even to assert that there has been a 'marked drop in the number of police officers and other ranks investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency' is simplistic at best and worse, it may lead to a false sense of semuanya ok. In my opinion corruption in the force is going on as usual, and the slogan has not even prevented one ringgit of duit kopi from changing hands.

Also the statement that 'posters and vehicle stickers had been sent to all police stations to increase public awareness that it was an offence to give bribes' is another farce. The public from day one knows that it is an offence to bribe, but does the policeman know that, or does he care? The standard reply by bribetaking cops is, "if the politicians and pegawai2 do it why can't we"?

No amount of slogans or any other passive method is going to be effective. The only language that they will always understand is relentless, merciless investigation and prosecution. But does the government have the stomach for that?

5 Comments:

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