ABDUL Hamid Bador kept his word and handed over the baton of command to Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, but not before making it red hot.
It, however, came as a great relief and saved the service from any legal challenge to the validity of the new inspector-general of police’s appointment. It would have been a devastating morale blow if the handing over of the baton of command was disputed at any stage.
The police service was put through unnecessary pressure of actions and words by the main actors, which fuelled destabilising speculation in the court of public opinion. It reeked of mischievous design creating a heavier burden for the new IGP.
Acryl has a lot to do in tying up so many image blurring allegations, many of which were made directly by his predecessor.
Some knots will be difficult to unravel in view of the absence of police reports. No one seems to be able to put their finger on the source of the first information report pertaining to the involvement of senior police officers in a cartel.
It was ironic that the outcry to ensure the command and control of the police service complies with the Police Act, but serious criminal allegations made by Hamid against the so-called cartel was not reduced into writing by way of a police report!
Allegations made must be investigated transparently with due process, to ensure those guilty will be brought to justice. If these allegations are false, then those who cannot prove it must also bear legal consequences.
These allegations, if not brought to a conclusive end, will affect the people’s overall trust and confidence in the police for a long time to come, notwithstanding the fact that lack of effective action will not only be unfair to serving personnel but also to those who have served in the past.
Preventive laws will not make their offences fully transparent in comparison to due process through the criminal justice system. The recent ruling on the Addy Kana case with two other police officers puts the police on serious notice to not depend solely on preventive laws.
They have to start enhancing and improving all their tools of criminal investigations, failing which they will succumb to more unorthodox and improper methods to gather admissible evidence. The use of minimum and optimum force must become transparently more professional.
The outgoing IGP has left many stones unturned from the time he took command and made many promises that were unkept. This is not uncommon as many of his predecessors said and did the same too by promising too much.
They were more focused in keeping the political masters happy as their careers depended on it, including post-retirement benefits.
The allegation that the executive has too much influence over the police service is not far from the truth. Basically it boils down to the respective police officers who can decide the degree of their association with the executive.
Officers in the past were more hardy and steadfast. They ensured the demarcated line between the executive and the police were clear.
Hamid, however, has been brave by opening a bigger pandora’s box. His successor must take firm action to put to bed all those allegations with swift decisiveness.
It would be prudent for our new IGP to review and implement the recommendations made by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of The Royal Malaysia Police in 2005.
All his predecessors failed to appreciate the wisdom and foresight of these recommendations, which would have gone a long way to a better and professional police service.
It is also imperative that the IGP be in the forefront of widening the separation of powers of influence between police and the executive.
This allegation, I feel, is the most pertinent and should be taken more seriously for the sake of a more professional police service.
All the best to the new IGP and we look forward to a rejuvenated police service under his command. – May 4, 2021.
* G. Seiva reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.