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Monday, October 02, 2006

The underpaid heroes

Everyday, they risk losing their lives while performing their duty. Their job is 'to serve and to protect'. Yet, it has been revealed in a news report recently that some of them are only paid about rm650 per month. They are the Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) or the Royal Malaysia Police.
Note: A quick check on PDRM website shows that a Konstabel starts with a minimum pay of rm530.46 and they get elaun khidmat of rm65, insentif PDRM of rm100 and elaun perumahan semenanjung of rm230. I am not too sure what 'insentif PDRM' on the website means. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Considering that an average lunch will cost rm3 per day, a 2-piece chicken meal at KFC costs rm5.30 (excluding tax), the cheapest McValue meal costing rm6.95 (again, excluding tax) at McDonalds (where else la?!), a frappuccino at Starbucks is about rm10 each and renting a 3 room mid-cost apartment will set you back by about rm450, I truly respect our selfless heroes who put the security and safety of the country and its citizens before anything else.

It is therefore quite sad to hear that the government had recently decided NOT to look into the salary review of these heroes (and the other civil servants). The reason is that a salary review will affect not only the police but all other civil servants and such an exercise will be a huge burden to our budget.

Perhaps I can offer a suggestion...

Have an incentive scheme for the police. Plough back a percentage of the summons collected by PDRM back into development programs, system upgrades, bonuses, etc... I know this will probably seem unfair to the other civil servants, but we have to look at it this way - how often do we need to risk our lives when performing our duties?

Every policeman (I will use this to mean the men and women) is given a set of KPIs or quotas (depending on the nature of the job). For example, field officers must achieve a minimum of 365 summons a year (about 1 summons a day -- very little considering that I'm able to spot at least 3 traffic offences when I drive to work and back) while deskbound officers will have to complete all reports, summons follow-up, etc within 72 hours. Failure to achieve these KPIs or quotas would mean no incentive or even salary review. Five successive bad marks and 'You're fired'. But achieve them, and you get a sum of say rm500 extra per month. I am sure the incentive can be more! Each round of Ops Warta, there is always a few hundred thousand ringgit collected (with many more summons not issued due to 'duit kopi').

I believe that with such a scheme, it can also help fight the 'duit kopi' disease. After all, the policemen have families too. They too want to provide the best education for their kids. At rm650 per month, can they even afford to start a family?

When the policemen have to issue more summons and make their case hold in court (can also be part of their KPI), they will perform their duties even better. The policemen will need to be very professional and well-versed in what they uphold - the law. They must back up each summons with evidence (and not just say I am 'Tuan Polis').

When the public realise they cannot bribe their way through anymore, there will be a tendency to be more careful and obedient. We will have less of expired roadtax, beating the red lights, speeding, etc...

The PDRM will also attract many more people to join too! Then we can have more policemen patrolling and keeping the country safer.

The above is not so easy as it seems, of course. If it is, I would probably be a minister or some big shot business guru by now. There are many issues to iron out... Issues like incentive payout for those involved in criminal cases, etc... But I believe that nothing is impossible. There is a solution to everything - It is just that we've not thought of it yet.

Actually, this can be done in other government departments as well. I am sure that if this is implemented, productivity will improve.

Sometimes change is required. Maybe it is time the government start to re-examine their policies and operations. Everyone knows that the goverment does not terminate the services of their civil servants. And everyone knows that in the civil service, regardless of whether you do extra or not, your pay and your increment is still the same (and guaranteed too!).

Perhaps it is time that this is changed. Not overnight but definitely over time.


Please leave your comments. There are 8 comment(s).

On 10/03/2006 09:28:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
You know, I don't mind paying extra tax if the gahmen is kind enough to increase the wages of these men and women in blue.

I reckon that their starting salary should be around RM3,000, NOT including other perks like housing allowance, OT, insurance coverage and special field allowances.

Then and only then could you nip the rampant bribery in the bud and restore confidence in the police force.

These men and women would then take pride in their job and discharge their duty with honour and integrity.

And more people would be dying to join the force too, and PDRM could handpick the cream of the lot and absorb them in special branches/taskforce a.k.a. 'Gerak Khas'. Haha!

In return, the public would look up to them and give them the true respect that they deserve.

Do you still remember the blue 'Kad 001' back in primary school?

I used to put "Polis" as one of my ambitions (how silly) as I was so impressed with the force when I watched Tony Leung in 'Police Academy'.

Haha, anyone remember this cantonese series in the 80s?

But I grew it out of my mind when I found out from my uncle, who's a cop, that the police were (and still are) overworked and underpaid.

On top of that, their welfare are often neglected and most of the time, put their lives at risk when battling the bad guys, ironically having more advanced weapon!

He used to tell me that it's very sad to see his men in the force.

Some of the men had to be "a bigger thief to catch a thief" and a real drug addict to catch the dealer and crime kingpins.

You see what they have to go through?

I'm very sad indeed that Pak Lelah just pulled the hand brake and said NO.

I guess that the welfare of the police are not as important as the welfare of his family members and cronies.

Over-inflate the prices of government contracts so that only selected few Bumis could enrich themselves under the banner called NEP.

Who cares about the government coffers, they are the people's money for these jackals to plunder anyway...
On 10/03/2006 07:18:00 PM Blogger Happy4ever said:
Partly agree, gamen suked most of our tax money into their pot bellies, nice cars, big houses, and stupid projects. (Remember the attempt, endorsed by the DPM, to drape the flag over the Pyramids? Good thing it failed!)A lot of wasted money on such similar projects.

On the other hand...

There are also bad cops around. If their salary is so low, why do they have pot bellies? Overweight and unfit, lazy and act fierce under their blardy moustache...and worse, never follow protocols and SOP, hence jeapordising many cases where the prosecution could have won, but lost due to "technicalities".

The chinese have a saying, if the cow doesnt wanna drink, you cant force its head down. Salary low or not, its wrong to bribe, yet they flaunt it. I doubt the problem will go away if their salary increases.

Also, if you support your underpaid heroes, remember to "Support" them when they tahan you. Hari Raya is near!

Meanwhile, I'll be vigilant and be my own hero. Touch me not!
On 10/03/2006 07:19:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
i think we have collected quite a bit of tax (and there's still a lot more un-collected ones as well!). speaking of tax, i think the tax people do get incentives for the tax collected. again, not sure of true or not... if true, can this not be applied to the summons as well?

back to the tax thingy... the thing is... where did all the tax money go la?

my guess... a lot went to the failed projects or road repairs that costs so much (when in the first place, a properly done tender and monitoring would have avoided all these).

yes, i remember the cantonese series... i think its police cadet la... :)

anyway, the point is... there should be a better salary for the police (and other civil servants). there should be carrots and sticks. i think at the moment, there is NO carrot and NO stick. that's the problem!
On 10/04/2006 08:28:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
AHHHH... Police Cadet! That's it...

Police Academy pulak... Otak sudah karat!
On 10/04/2006 08:36:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
bad apples are everywhere. this world of ours is not perfect.

maximum fine for summons is rm300. let's assume no one will offer a bribe equivalent to the maximum sum. so instead, lets use rm200.

if you offer this amount to an office boy who earns rm500 per month, would the office boy accept this bribe? chances are, he will since its almost half is salary. now, imagine you want to bribe say... Donald Trump or Bill Gates (for whatever the reason). Do you think they will want to take your rm200?

as for the belly, well... blame that on lack of exercise la.

why would i need to support then during this Raya season if I'm not committing or planning to commit any offence?
On 10/04/2006 08:37:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
dean, police academy is the blue oyster one... heh heh...
On 11/15/2006 10:09:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said:
So this gives them an excuse to do " side business " ? How much does it take to make sure one has gone " missing in action " ? You see, the idea of having a police force is to have a group of GOOD people. If a police cannot live up to the ideals of a police, we might as well pay the gangsters to what ? protect us ?
On 11/16/2006 10:17:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
u r right, anonymous. there is NO excuse for any side business. our heroes are supposed to be GOOD and nothing else.

but point is that we need to understand that as long as we live in this world, we all need $$$ to survive. So perhaps the call for an increase in their salary should be seriously looked into. I used the KFC price as comparison.

How can we expect our heroes to live in this REAL world where everything costs $$$ (not to mention expensive as well).
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