Case of an IGP and an “unintelligent” Minister

By Francis Paul Siah

I have a feeling that Abdul Hamid Bador would have agreed to continue for another few months as inspector-general of police (IGP) till the emergency is over in August had he been asked to.

The policeman in him will compel him to do so; just as he had confided in his farewell address last Monday that “I look happy to retire but my heart is anxious for the police force”.

However, I do not think that another four months for Hamid as the IGP will make much difference or see any significant changes for PDRM (Polis DiRaja Malaysia). On the contrary, it could turn out to be disastrous for the police force if the top brass are unable to get along.

Let’s face it. There is too much bad blood between Hamid and his political boss, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin. It is now public knowledge. There is nothing to hide.

On April 30, Hamid was not even informed by the minister that a new IGP has been picked to take over from him beginning May 4. Well, Hamzah showed who’s the boss here. (So, don’t play-play with me.)

Why, both men would even prefer to avoid each other. Any wonder why Hamzah did not turn up for the handing-over ceremony to the new IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani last Monday.

Now, we know how childish a minister can behave for all to see. Sending a deputy to cover for him was to save Hamzah the blushes and some awkward moments in the presence of Hamid. The minister can flush his lame excuses for his absence down the toilet!

Oh yes, there are some ministers who are unintelligent, as Hamid has aptly called out recently. He was being polite and professional by carefully choosing the adjective, “unintelligent”.

Still, that does not hide the fact that some ministers are actually dumb, pea-brained, crass, dull-witted and stupid. That is coming from me straight up as always, not from Hamid.

The statement from the Home Ministry yesterday that it would continue to see that PDRM function professionally and efficiently was not such an “intelligent” response, particularly coming on the heels of the mountain of brickbats it has just been laden with.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador and home minister Hamzah Zainudin – FMT Pix

Explosive revelations

To me, this past week has to be “IGP Hamid Bador Week”. I have always found PDRM and police work a fascinating subject, possibly due to my close working relationship with many police officers in years gone by.

This week has the most public-grabbing police stories for a long while. I have written three articles, including in a Sarawak daily, on the police controversies this week alone.

I expect things will continue to heat up in Bukit Aman as Hamid has vouched to keep PDRM close to his heart. I take that to mean he would continue to speak up.

In passing, I have also noted with interest Hamid’s statement that he was very worried about smuggling, online gambling and immoral activities in Sarawak.

I have attempted to contact Hamid with the hope to learn more about what he had uncovered and what could be done to resolve the issues. I do hope to meet Hamid in due course to discuss Sarawak affairs, particularly those pertaining to corrupt practices within the force.

Hamid’s explosive revelations are very serious as it involves political interference in police work. His direct claim that Hamzah wanted to use the Special Branch for political purposes warrants nothing short of a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe the case.

This has to be acted upon as a matter of urgency since the matter was raised by the top cop himself. PDRM, as the nation’s key security agency, cannot be abused by ministers to fulfill certain political agendas.

Hamzah’s interference has also seen the National Patriots Association (Patriot) demanding that Hamzah be sacked from the cabinet. The veterans described Hamzah’s actions as insulting, insolence and disregarding the statutory functions of the police force.

Earlier, I’ve commented that it is better for Hamid to retire as IGP now rather than four months later because this acrimonious Hamid-Hamzah relationship will not be healthy in Bukit Aman.

This is a case of a popular police chief unprepared to pander to his unpopular political boss of a very unpopular government. Because political bosses, and not civil servants, always have the upper hand, a prolonged clash at the top of PDRM will benefit no one.

Hence, I believe it is best for Hamid to leave now but his continuous efforts from outside to improve the police force would be welcomed and his views, being the former IGP, would be valued and respected.

And there is one thing Hamid can rest assured. I doubt anyone will describe him as the “unintelligent” former IGP.

This article first appeared in Malaysiakini