Sultan calls for clean, credible police force
By M K Anwar

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has reminded the Royal Brunei Police Force not to rest on their laurels and be vigilant against any unwanted elements that might hinder the peace and prosperity of the nation and called for the establishment of a computer forensic section.

His Majesty said this in a titah delivered during the anniversary parade and the changing of the 'Panji-Panji' (crest) to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Police Force at the Parade Square of the RBPF Training Centre in Gadong yesterday morning.

His Majesty, who is also the Inspector General of Police, said RBPF's vast experience has in fact strengthened the force.

The police are the law enforcers and it's a great and honourable job.

"If it becomes weak, a lot of its importance will be affected. Especially, in the current era of globalisation, we encounter difficult challenges which require a clean and credible police force," said His Majesty.

Citing the information technology boom and the decline in the economy in the region nowadays, His Majesty said these could certainly cause some instability.

"For this reason, steps must be taken to preserve as well as improve our relations with other police forces in this region as a way to update the current networking," said the monarch.

Also attending the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Deputy Inspector General of Police, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Honorary Commissioner of Police, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, also the Commandant of the Women Police and HRH Princess Hajah Nor'ain, Deputy Commandant of the Women Police.

His Majesty also mentioned about the existence of professional criminal elements, white-collar criminals and others, who have created anxiety among the people in the country.

In this context, the police force has the responsibility to face such negative elements and prevent them from disturbing the nation's peace and harmony, His Majesty pointed out.

"The presence of IT can bring advantages, but at the same time it can also be used for other purposes that can affect the community," the ruler said.

With this in mind, His Majesty said it is the right time for the RBPF to consider immediately the establishment of a computer forensic section.

The monarch said the country's economic situation nowadays is comforting but it can also act as a motivation for illegal immigrants, smugglers and foreign fishermen to intrude into Brunei waters.

"This undoubtedly requires the full commitment of the police force as well as other authorities," His Majesty said.

The ruler said the people in the country depend on the police force and hence the commitment of police officers and personnel must always be high and proven with successful actions and services.

"There can be greater public confidence towards the police force if this is achieved," added the Inspector General.

Highlighting on the roles of the police, His Majesty said the police force is not only bound by the norms of police duties like maintaining the peace and security as well as strengthening the laws but also as a link between the people and government especially in the rural areas.

"Towards this, all officers and personnel must be ready to provide the best of services without considering the place and time," said His Majesty.

The police must not wait and waste time by asking too many questions when they receive a report or complaint, the monarch advised. "We must remember that the criminals will not wait for the police but want to escape as fast as possible."

His Majesty also reminded the police to always be efficient and proactive and for this the police force must have proper training programmes conducted locally or attended abroad.

The police force must realise that it is not excluded from being monitored by different parties, therefore it's not surprising that the community is sensitive on their actions, His Majesty said and reminded the force that any action by an individual might leave the rest to face the consequences.

His Majesty also called for a clean, credible and noble police force which must be brave, trustworthy and loyal so as not to be influenced by any parties for their own benefits.

The Inspector General of Police announced the establishment of the Department of Criminal Intelligence and for the welfare of the force the allocation of a Group Takaful Scheme for officers, personnel and staff.

Touching on the change of 'Panji-Panji', the monarch said it symbolically represents a new era. "I hope this change will inject enthusiasm and zest into the RBPF."

His Majesty also noted that the change also symbolises the modernisation of the RBPF including new infrastructure, equipment, technological advancement, acquirements of group assets and most importantly increasing and developing its human resource.

"If this is achieved the effectiveness of the police force will soon become a reality," said His Majesty.

Before concluding the titah the monarch reminded the police personnel of the unpredictable nature of global security. "It is therefore important that the RBPF be aware of the situations without ignoring the possibility of any unpredictable incident that can affect the prosperity of the nation, the region or the whole world." - Borneo Bulletin (19th Jan 2006)