Why 30 Special Branch officers in London, asks Nurul Izzah

NOVEMBER 12, 2013

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah (pic, left) has questioned the need for Putrajaya to station 30 Special Branch officers in London.

"Why are they there, and what exactly do they do?

"The Malaysian taxpayer pays for those officers' stay in England. Yet there does not seem to be any credible threat to Malaysia's internal security coming from England.

"Would it not be better if they patrol our Malaysian neighbourhoods?"

Nurul Izzah said this at Pakatan Rakyat's forum on the Goods and Services Tax in Bangsar last night.

The Special Branch's London contingent, she added, was revealed in various government documents such as the 10th Malaysia Plan and the annual Budget, and from the Home Ministry's replies in the Dewan Rakyat.

She said that placing 30 officers in London was yet another example of how the Home Ministry did not properly allocate policing resources to combat crime.

Nurul Izzah also cited the increasing number of policemen assigned to special branch duties as further proof that the ministry and the Barisan Nasional administration are misguided in their priorities when it came to law enforcement.

"The Special Branch is used primarily to spy on politicians," she said.

"In 1954, to battle the Communists, we had 459 Special Branch officers. Now we have 8,200.

"So we have more special branch officers now compared to the time when we were battling Communists?"

She said that these officers could make a dent in crime had they been transferred to the Criminal Investigations Department. This is seen in the amount of work the Special Branch does.

Nurul Izzah said last year that the Special Branch churned out 830,000 surveillance reports mostly on Pakatan politicians. By contrast, the CID solved 60,000 criminal cases.

"Could not these Special Branch officers be redeployed to the CID so that we could boost our crime solving rate?" – November 12, 2013.