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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Group shoots down police's RM48m drones, wants working CCTVs instead

 


A rights group has criticised the move to acquire drones for the police force with a price tag of RM48 million.

Eliminating Deaths And Abuse In Custody Together (Edict) said the sum should be spent on upgrading existing facilities instead.

For example, it said the government and police should look into installing functioning CCTVs (closed-circuit television) in lock-ups and police barracks.

Apart from this, the group also noted the deplorable conditions of investigating officers' rooms, prompting some of them to dig into their own pockets to purchase stationery and printers.

“Edict believes if the welfare of police officers and personnel are taken care of, it will help lift their spirit and motivate them to discharge their duties with integrity,” it added in a statement today.

The group noted that one of the common excuses during inquests into custodial deaths at the coroner's court is that the CCTV was not functioning.

“Edict is of the opinion that spending RM48 million to purchase these drones is not a necessity at this point.

“Edict also wishes to draw the police's attention to the claims that the cost for the drones is too high compared to the original price,” it added.

Therefore, the group urged the police and government to stop the purchase of drones and focus the budget on more pertinent aspects.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mazlan Lazim

On July 24, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mazlan Lazim said the 16 high-powered drones would help boost the level of security at the country's borders especially in areas that have not been fenced up.

"A total of RM48 million had been allocated by the government through Rolling Plan 1 of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) for the tender process by the Home Ministry to procure the drones," he said.

Mazlan added that the drones approved by the government would come under the control of the Air Operation Force (PGU).

According to him, the drones would be able to remain airborne for more than four hours.

In addition, Mazlan said the police would also receive 175 four-wheel drive vehicles soon to boost the level of its operations nationwide.

Meanwhile, intelligence personnel assigned to border areas would be equipped with 1,000 inner bulletproof vests for better protection.

Mazlan said the government had approved RM5 million for the vests and he directed the intelligence personnel to continue upgrading their level of operations in the border areas to obtain important information.

"The intelligence group must be strong because we want to check criminal activities along the border areas," he added. - Mkini

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