With Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Ismail Omar celebrating his 60th birthday this Friday, speculation is rife on the candidate who will replace him.
Based on tradition, his deputy, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, is expected to succeed him. However, the final decision lies with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Khalid, 55, who hails from Seremban, attended training as a police inspector at the Police Training Centre on Dec 5, 1976.
He was head of the Kedah Anti-Narcotic Department in 1997 and six years later, was the Pahang Police Management Department head before being appointed Kuantan District Police Chief.
In 2005, he was appointed Negeri Sembilan police chief and then as Federal Police (Bukit Aman) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deputy director before being appointed Selangor police chief in June 2007.
On Oct 13, 2010, he was appointed Director of the Bukit Aman's Internal Security and Public Order Department and not long after that, as Deputy Inspector-General of Police.
According to police sources, eight other candidates are eligible to be appointed to the post.
They are Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin, Bukit Aman Special Task Force (Operations/Counter Terrorism) director Datuk Mohamad Fuzi Harun and Bukit Aman Special Branch director Datuk Akhil Bulat.
Others are Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Wira Syed Ismail Syed Azizan, Management Department director Datuk Mortadza Nazarene and Narcotic Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim.
Also eligible for the post are Internal Security and Public Order director Datuk Wira Salleh Mat Rashid and Logistics Department director Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah
The new IGP, however, has to face various challenges, including improving the image of the force, as well as enhance public security, in tandem with the aspirations of the people for the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to provide international-class policing.
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the new person to lead PDRM should be capable of reducing the crime index to restore the people's confidence in the force.
"It is impossible to have a zero crime rate, but PDRM can reduce the rate drastically through various approaches," he added.
He suggested that the police intensify cooperation with the public for a more effective crime prevention.
PDRM, however, has carried out various transformation, following the government's introduction of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) in 2009, including making Kuala Lumpur the safest city to live in.
The government, and the security forces, have declared 10 districts in Sabah to come under the Eastern Sabah safety zone and stationed five additional battalions of the Malaysian Armed Forces and the General Operations Force, as well as building additional police stations.
Apart from that, the government has activated the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) in Lahad Datu, abolished the Internal Security Act, Restricted Residence Act and the three Emergency ordinances, replacing them with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
The government formulated the Peaceful Assembly Act, provided a RM6 million allocation to increase the number of policemen as well as for the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in 25 local government areas nationwide.
The government has also increase the number of auxiliary policemen, as well their training skills and professionalism, embarking on a strategic cooperation with the Malaysian Armed Forces to allow for more personnel to carry out patrol duties, introducing the biometric system for foreigners and also the Motorcycle Patrol Unit for PDRM, involving 1,000 motorcycles.