By: B Goode
I had wanted to write an assessment on Police Commissioner Hoong Wee Teck for quite a while now. But you know what they say about procrastination? I’ll tell you tomorrow.
The shooting at KTPH somehow hastens my resolve to complete this article. There is a connection somewhere. But I’ll tell you later.
It has been a little more than six months since CP Hoong Wee Teck took over as the Police Commissioner. The crime statistics are not out yet to objectively make a comprehensive study on his achievement thus far. Or maybe they are already out but I am not about to be objective.
In any case, statistics can only go so far in trying to review the work of a CP. They are good in analysing the achievement of the various Police Divisions for example. But for a CP, his achievement should be measured from the perspective of the big picture.
Thus the subjectivity of this article.
Call me an old coot (get off my lawn!). But, since CP Hoong took over the helm, I have a sense that the Police are returning to their roots and that is to police; to maintain law and order regardless of whether the law is seen as archaic or even unfair.
Under the previous CP, Ng Joo Hee, the Police seemed to be involved too much in the politics of things, of trying to adapt or rather interpret the laws to the current global liberal trend. It was as if the Police were ashamed for Singapore to be called a police state. Thus, the police preferred to work behind the scenes and took a light-touch on some cases.
Before CP Hoong took over, there was hardly any news about joint-Police operations. It was all about operations conducted by the various authorities such as MOM, HAS, NEA etc seemingly without Police involvement. As a result, places like Geylang became a cowboy town where lawlessness abounds because there was only so much that the various agencies could do without Police support.
It is different now. Nary a week passed by without a joint operation involving the other enforcement agencies helmed by the Police, and Geylang at least has returned to some semblance of orderliness, albeit retaining its naughty charm.
And then you have the infamous Jover Chew case. It started during the tail-end of CP Ng’s stewardship. Then the Police had said that they were powerless in investigating into the offence. When CP Hoong took over, Jover and the gang were promptly arrested.
And then you have other cases such as the one involving Amos Yee. One wonders whether Amos would be taken to task had CP Ng was still in-charged.
And I doubt that it was a coincidence that the project to install CCTVs everywhere but my bathroom continued in earnest since CP Hoong took over.
And CP Hoong’s enthusiasm and sense of urgency seemed to rub off to the whole of the Police Force. The shooting incident at Shangri-la recently showed that they were not afraid to uphold the law even to the extent of shooting a suspect dead.
Compare this with the Little India riot.
It could all well be conjectures. But at least for me, I got a sense that the police have returned to form. They are after all law enforcers. They are to enforce the laws. Whether the laws are outdated is not for them to decide. It is for the political masters.
It is not the duty of the Police to participate in a popularity contest.
And for that, I’d give CP Hoong an A.
As to the recent shooting at KTPH, notice that there has yet to be any excuses coming from CP Hoong?
And that I think is the connection that I am trying to make.