Today the Royal Malaysian Police celebrated Police Day, the day the force was formed 202 years ago. It is, indeed, a mature and tested police force that is best remembered, together with other branches of the armed forces, for its contributions and sacrifices in the long battle against the Malayan Communist Party during the first and the second Emergencies (1948-1960 and 1967 to 1989).These days the men in blue face other hazards, which are no less challenging, of modern-day policing. In spite of various constraints, they have toiled tirelessly to maintain law and order. Their dedication to duty has been reflected in their recent successes in combating crime, curbing drug syndicates and the elimination of notorious armed gangs.It is the hope of every Malaysian that the police force will continue to enforce the law without fear or favour. And while they go about their duties, the police should remember that to be a really effective force, it cannot stand alone. It needs all the support it can muster from the public through activities such as community policing so that the police force becomes the people's force.What interest me in the news is that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has acquired 25 units of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (10 - with manual transmission) which will be used alongside the Proton Wajas as patrolcars. High-performance models are nothing new to the force and even as far back as the 1970s, they had a fleet of 2-litre Alfa Romeo Alfettas, the first police force outside Italy to use the Italian cars. Marketed by City Motors at that time, they were assembled at the Swedish Motor Assemblies plant in Shah Alam, Selangor. Later on, during the 1980s, the force also purchased a small fleet of Ford TX3s which were used for undercover operations. The cars were unmarked and little was known about them other than that they existed. Around that time, other government agencies like the Customs also used models like the Citroen BX and BMW 318i in order to pursue criminals who had fast machines. In the 1990s, the Highway Patrol got the powerful Volvo 850 T5 stationwagons which were ideal for use on the North-South Highway. The stationwagons served for some time but today, the Highway Patrol uses Mitsubishi Pajeros, Nissan X-Trails and some Proton Satria GTIs. The force will be sending its Evo drivers for special training courses so that they will be able to make full use of the car’s performance so illegal racers had better think twice before trying to accelerate away when they see flashing blue lights behind them. The police also say that the cars may have other roles that require high-speed escorts. As these are government vehicles, the cost would be about half the showroom price of RM324,000 since they are purchased tax-free. Also, the Evo's 295 bhp engine is a thirsty powerplant but since the police also get tax-free petrol, that should not be a worry either!
Now, when we see these beasts roaring behind us in our mirrors, pull over - the chase is not worth it. Recline your windows down, smile and don't rehearse the ever popular, "Boleh settle ka?"