Law enforcement personnel’s attire, vehicles must be clearly marked

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Angry Malaysian says he too would have run for his life if he had seen masked men descending on the shop he was patronising.

The recent incident of police personnel rugby-tackling a junior doctor who was running for his life, out of fear that masked men were attacking the hospital, prompted me to share my thoughts.

Many have written in the media to express sympathy and support for the ‘victim’ of this mistaken identity.

While we may not think much of it, it could happen to any one of us, irrespective or race, gender or position.

Law enforcement personnel carrying out operations must be fully recognisable by the public, with luminous, large vests with the words Police or Customs or Immigration clearly visible.

In Malaysia, it is not common to see fully balaclava-clad police carrying out operations. I would have also run for my life seeing masked men descending on the shop I was patronising. Mind you, I don’t even have an unpaid parking ticket to my name.

If we follow any American series or live news feeds, we can see how the words Police, FBI or Swat are clearly visible on uniforms for easy identification by the public.

In the light of cases of kidnapping cases carried out by masked men in Sabah and even in the Peninsula, it is perfectly understandable for anyone, guilty or not, to run.

Standard operating procedures for law enforcement operation in public areas must be reviewed and enhanced and steps taken to avoid innocent people being ‘punished’

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While on the subject, the police top brass must review the colours of police cars as there appear to be quite a few different versions on the road now. We, the public, have trouble distinguishing police cars from the security patrols by private companies or ancillary police.

All police cars must be of same colours and share the same livery and emblem, and this must be made publicly known. The same goes for the uniforms of various branches and segments of law enforcement personnel.

Angry Malaysian is the pseudonym of an Aliran reader who is always angry because the bright future of Malaysia has been eroded by incompetence, nepotism, apathy, laziness, racism, double standards and arrogance.

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