Knee-jerk reaction makes no sense, says SUPP

2 weeks ago 11
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KUCHING: The Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) has voiced strong opposition to the recent directive to close police station gates nationwide after 10pm.

This directive was announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on July 9 as a security measure following an attack on the Ulu Tiram Police Station in Johor.

During a parliamentary session, Saifuddin explained that the closure was intended to protect both police personnel and the public.

However, SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, expressed concerns over this measure.

He said the decision appeared to be a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to a single incident and argued that it is not a ‘good idea.’

“SUPP wishes to stress that ordinary citizens expect the police to be ready at all times to enforce and maintain law and order, without fear or favour and for the best interest of the people.

“Closing the gates after 10 pm is a ‘put-off’ and not the way to be seen as providing the best service to the citizenry and welcoming them to seek help from the police.

“The police and the public are supposed to be ‘friends’ working together for the common societal good. Do not put a visible barrier to this laudable relationship that has helped in maintaining law and order within the community,” he said in a statement.

Ting, who is Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts, acknowledged the importance of police safety and advocated for better training, equipment, and support systems for officers.

He emphasised the need for comprehensive training in conflict resolution, de-escalation techniques, and situational awareness to ensure officers can handle difficult situations safely.

“We agree with the Home Minister that balancing the safety of police officers with the need for accountability and community trust is essential for a well-functioning law enforcement system,” he added.

Nonetheless, he contended that the blanket closure of police station gates was not well-considered and suggested that such measures should be applied selectively in high-risk areas rather than nationwide.

As such, he pointed out that not all police stations are at risk of attacks, citing Kuching, Sibu, and Miri as examples of areas where the threat from radicalised groups is minimal.

He argued that closing the gates of these stations makes little sense.

Additionally, Ting noted that the Home Ministry clarified Wednesday (July 10) that police reports can still be made despite the gates being closed after 10pm.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain reassured the public that police stations would continue providing services as usual despite the closure of their gates after 10pm.

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