PUTRAJAYA: The nation’s enforcement officers will be equipped with body cameras to boost efficiency in fighting crime and combating corruption.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said enforcement personnel who would use body cameras included police, and Customs and Immigration personnel.
“The country is experiencing revenue leakages of between RM3 billion and RM5 billion at the nation’s entry points yearly, due to integrity problems of officers and a lack in state-of-the-art technology,” he said after chairing the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) meeting at Perdana Putra.
“We had agreed with suggestions to improve things, including using technology in the Customs Department operations by setting up a one-stop control centre, monitoring using closed circuit television (CCTV) and adding more scanners with Artificial Intelligence technology as well as operation aid equipment.
“We want to use more cameras and one of these cameras is the body camera.
“We want to implement it as soon as possible. We have the budget for them.
“We will give priority to body cameras and CCTV.”
Dr Mahathir said body cameras and CCTV could help to determine whether accusations made against enforcement officers were based on facts.
He said more CCTVs would be installed at locations such as lock-ups to boost transparency and prevent misconduct resulting in custodial deaths.
Dr Mahathir said JKKMAR had taken note of requests for additional manpower from certain departments, including police and the Immigration Department.
“We currently have too many civil servants of more than 1.7 million.
“We are finding ways to shift those already on our payroll to areas with important tasks.
“We can’t add too many new staff as we don’t have enough money for it,” Dr Mahathir said adding that the upcoming budget must reflect the government’s need to provide technology and extra manpower to certain departments.
He said more effort must be put into fighting corruption.
“Since we came to power for the past 16 months, the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption has met almost every month.
“Such a meeting is extremely important because corruption problems are not being reduced significantly.
“There are still many reports being lodged which must be investigated and looked at as to determine what is still lacking and what needs to be done to further improve things.”
Dr Mahathir said the important decisions reached by JKKMAR included allowing the Public Service Department to continue formulating the Public Services Act to improve integrity and governance among civil servants while executing their duties without any worries about favouritism, stress and threats.