PUTRAJAYA, Sept 19 — The government has agreed to implement the use of body cameras on law enforcement officers such as police, immigration and customs to overcome issues of misconduct, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said the proposal for the use of the body cameras was accepted as there have been various allegations of misconduct by officers on duty, such as beating the person being investigated.
“The officer on duty will wear body cameras, and when he or the client (person being investigated) talks, it will be captured on the camera. We can see what the officer is doing to the client,” he told reporters after chairing the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting, here today.
However, Dr Mahathir said the date of implementation of the use of that body cameras has yet to be finalised as it would involve certain costs to the government.
Besides the use of body camera, he said the meeting also agreed that the use of technology by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to be stepped up through the setting up of a control centre, monitoring through closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and use of more scanning machines with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
He said this would address the issue of the country losing between RM3 billion and RM5 billion a year in revenue due to integrity problems of officers and lack of modern technology at the checkpoints.
Dr Mahathir said monitoring through CCTVs would also be stepped-up at all entry points in the country and also the Immigration Department’s detention depots to facilitate stricter checks and increase the efficiency of the department and its officers.
In line with the government’s promise to make the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) a respected and formidable force, he said the use and maintenance of CCTVs at police lockups would be enhanced to ensure transparency, prevent misconduct and address the issue of death during detention.
“(Police) Lockups will need to have cameras so that we will know what actually happens,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said there were requests from the police, Customs Department and the Immigration Department for additional officers following the increase in the number of tourists and foreign workers coming to the country.
He said there were already too many public servants, totalling 1.7 million, and the government would have to think of appropriate measures to ensure operations of the three departments would not be affected by the shortage of personnel.
“Maybe we can shift some already employed people to more important tasks because we cannot have too many (public servants) as we do not have enough money,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the meeting was also informed that a directive would be prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office on the issuance of a letter or statement of support by members of the government’s administration.
The directive will be applicable to all civil officers at the federal level, and will also be extended to the states, statutory bodies and local government authorities, he added.
With the upcoming tabling of the 2020 Budget, scheduled on Oct 11, Dr Mahathir said the government would ensure that the aspiration to make Malaysia a high-integrity country and with good governance would continue to be implemented through initiatives in the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP).
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