Stop meddling in police matters, IGP tells politicians

Noor Azam Shairi

Outgoing IGP Abdul Hamid Bador has trained his guns on Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin, who he said had overstepped his boundary in interfering with police matters. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, April 30, 2021.

OUTGOING Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador warned that the country was on a slippery slope if politicians meddled or interfered with police matters.

Hamid trained his guns on Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin, who he said had overstepped his boundary in interfering with police matters.

Hamid was referring to the recent promotion and transfer exercise involving senior police officers, which the home minister had allegedly stopped.

“A minister cannot interfere in the affairs of the police force. The minister is only empowered to set policies.

“Don’t get upset, (if I say), the home minister has too much power. Come on,” he told editors in a press conference at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman today.

The IGP said political interference in police affairs must be stopped immediately for the future of the country.

He was commenting on Hamzah’s remarks earlier today where he admitted it was his voice in an audio conversation with an unidentified man over the appointment of the next inspector-general of police.

The IGP said he had nothing to do with that audio recording.

Hamid, who will retire on May 3, said he had twice raised Hamzah’s interference in the affairs of the police to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and also voiced it to the Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali.

He claimed he was not a “power crazy” person who wanted to decide on everything, but as the chief of the police force, he was certainly more knowledgeable about police affairs and management.

“I work every day with my team. The minister has many departments and agencies under his ministry,” he added.

Problems started with new government

He said the problem with the home minister only started after the change of government in March last year following the political turmoil that toppled the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

He said he had no problem when Muhyiddin was the home minister in the PH government.

“From the beginning, he (Hamzah) insisted on being given the authority to place people (officers) there,” he said.

Hamid said such political interferences only caused a split in the police force.

Police Force Commission must be overhauled

Hamid also left a message and hoped that the Police Force Commission will be overhauled to further strengthen the force’s regulatory body.

He said the commission should not be led by a minister like now, where it is opened to be used.

He revealed how the commission, which is supposed to meet every month, now only meets four times a year.

In fact, he also said there is no office for the commission, given that it is a department that handles the affairs of 129,000 members and police officers.

“Imagine if the Public Service Commission was like this?” he asked.

Hamid suggested that the police commission, in future, be led independently, for instance by a former judge.

The proposal, he said, was also voiced by former director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Abu Kassim Mohamed during the PH administration. – April 30, 2021.

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