Corruption, bribery and abuse of power are so widespread in the Malaysian police force that immediate and forceful action is needed, a Royal Commission has found. The worst abuses were at lower levels, where police stations have been turned into businesses where poorly paid cops abuse their powers. They have charged detainees up to M$100 (HK$205) for a telephone call that normally costs 30 cents, and $300 for cigarettes and instant noodles that cost $6. Police also refuse to accept reports, delay or take no action on reports, treat detainees inhumanely and deny legal representation to detainees. In preliminary findings released yesterday, the commission said detention cells were dirty and overcrowded, and that suspects were remanded for long periods but later released without explanation. 'These findings have been forwarded to the police for immediate correction. The police must act very quickly and forcefully on these findings and rectify the defects immediately,' said commission deputy chairman Hanif Omar, who is a retired police chief. Officials said the commission had received more than 400 corruption complaints since March. 'It seems in some localities police can do almost anything for the right amount of cash,' the official said, citing illegal gaming and prostitution that thrive next to police stations. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi set up the commission in March. The police force's image and efficiency have suffered in the wake of a sharp rise in violent and sex-related crime throughout much of the 1990s. Unlike other sectors that benefited from the wealth injection brought by rapid development, the police force was ignored, both in training and equipment. Wages remained low. On Monday, Mr Abdullah ordered the transfer of civil servants, mostly policemen, who have held a post for three or more years. But the public remains unhappy with the commission's slow pace, said parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang. 'We want major revamps, not cosmetic changes.'