POLICE have denied that the withdrawal of a badge depicting a handshake, introduced more than 40 years ago to encourage public co-operation in the fight against crime, had anything to do with a campaign against corruption. The badge, worn on the left sleeve along with the words, Bersedia Berkhidmat (Ready to Serve), has been a symbol of the need for the police and communities to work together, especially during the years of communist insurgency. But recently, a media spotlight on corruption prompted remarks that the insignia showed a police officer receiving a bribe. In January an anti-graft campaign was launched to improve the police image and demonstrate that members of the public as well as guardians of the law were guilty of corruption. Since the start of the campaign, 100 people have been arrested for allegedly offering bribes to officers. When police stopped wearing the badge last week, street gossip said it was because the handshake was associated by the public with corruption and detracted from the seriousness of the drive against bribery. But Jamil Johari, police director of management, denied this. He said the badge had outlived its purpose. 'The badge was introduced during the height of the communist militancy to seek public co-operation but now the objective has been achieved,' he said. The communist armed struggle ended officially in 1989 when members of the Communist Party of Malaysia signed a peace accord with the Government. Mr Jamil said he was aware that some quarters had insinuated that the badge was withdrawn because it depicted the police being involved in bribery. 'Some people have said the hands showed the police were taking bribes from the public,' he said. 'Their views are misplaced.' He said the decision to withdraw the badge was 'not according to our whims and fancies'. It had become 'an inconvenience'. 'Police officers had to ensure the badge was worn at the proper position on the uniform,' he said.