Recently, former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador shocked the nation by revealing that Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had been interfering in the police force.
The ex-IGP claimed that since the beginning, Hamzah had demanded to be the one who decides on appointments. Not just that, he also insisted on deciding the transfers of police officers.
“That’s why I am shocked with the Police Force Commission (PFC) as Hamzah insisted on having the power to decide who will be placed here and there,” Hamid said.
“This made it hard for me to carry out my duties. This sort of doing has led to the existence of camps siding some directors, camps siding IGP and so on,” he explained.
Despite Hamid raising this matter with Hamzah, the Chief Secretary to the government, and even with Muhyiddin himself, the Home Minister still pushed for the power to interfere arbitrarily.
In addition to Hamid’s disturbing allegations, a leaked audio recording of Hamzah discussing key appointments in the police force, including that of the next IGP, went viral last week. Not just that, the conversation also included the promotion of officers and even the reshuffling of the police force.
On top of that, Hamzah was heard speaking about an unknown person who was no longer allowed to decide appointments of Bukit Aman department directors and state police chiefs.
So far, the Minister has admitted that it was his voice in the said recording but insisted he had done nothing wrong.
This blatantly shameless abuse of power doesn’t just stop there. It even extended to Hamzah attempting to exploit the Special Branch for his own political agenda.
Hamid stated that he wasn’t the only one who experienced issues with Hamzah. “Even the Special Branch (SB) is unhappy with the minister’s action for the past one year.
“I was told that the minister had forced the SB to conduct several operations for his own political agenda.”
“Suffice to say that the objectives for the said operations were not in line with the mandate given to the SB, which is to safeguard and protect national security.”
Let it be said, that the first and most important duty of the police is to the people of this nation, not to politicians, not to the Cabinet, not even to the Prime Minister. But in order to carry out their duty with fairness and impartiality, they need to remain neutral and independent – free of any form of political influence.
Just because they are civil servants does not mean that they are at the beck and call of the government. Nor does it mean that they are forced to owe blind allegiance to the ruling government. Such logic is unsound as governments don’t always put the people first, nor do they always do the right things.
In such circumstances, the police especially owe it to ordinary citizens to uphold justice and protect democracy without fear or favour. Above all else, the rakyat should always come first.