Miri mayor calls for careful consideration of new police station policy

2 weeks ago 15
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MIRI: Pujut assemblyman and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Central Publicity and Information Secretary, Adam Yii Siew Sang, has urged for careful consideration of Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution’s directive to close police station gates nationwide after 10pm.

Yii, who also serves as the mayor of Miri, expressed concerns that this measure might not effectively address the safety risks faced by police stations.

During Saifuddin’s questions session in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (July 9), he announced the policy, stating that it aimed to prevent further attacks on officers by closing police station gates from 10pm onwards.

However, Yii in a statement on Wednesday (July 10), believes that such a directive could lead to misunderstandings and potentially cause public panic and unease.

“Police stations are places where the public seek safety and assistance.

“Any changes in their operational policies need to be carefully considered. The Home Minister’s remarks have made the public feel that the police are weak in the face of criminal threats, potentially leading to a decline in public trust in the police and concerns about social security,” Yii said.

Despite clarifications from the Home Ministry and the Inspector-General of Police that the measure only applies to police stations in remote areas and suburbs with minimal staff on duty, Yii noted that the initial announcement had already caused significant anxiety among the public and even among tourists from neighbouring countries.

Yii criticised the lack of specific details in the Home Minister’s statement and stressed the importance of clear and accurate communication regarding public safety policies.

He pointed out that merely closing gates after 10pm does not address the root cause of safety risks.

“There is no pattern indicating that attacks on police stations only occur after 10pm,” Yii said.

“If there are attacks during the day, will the gates remain locked 24/7? This approach addresses the symptoms rather than the root cause.”

He suggested that the Home Ministry consider increasing police personnel at stations in remote areas and suburbs to address understaffing issues, ensuring the safety and efficiency of officers.

Yii also recommended enhancing officer training, improving their crisis awareness and emergency handling capabilities to better balance safety and service to the public.

“After all, no one can guarantee that there will be no emergencies in remote areas after 10pm. If the public find the gates closed during a critical emergency, how will they seek help?
“How can the police ensure they can open the gates promptly to prevent further escalation of incidents?” he questioned.

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