KUALA LUMPUR: Several chiefs in Malaysia's police force are expected to be removed next month, including the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), as the new Pakatan Harapan government seeks to "cleanse" the organisation, sources said.
Three departments that are believed to be graft-ridden are also expected to abolished, with a handful of department heads sacked, the sources who insisted on anonymity told The Straits Times.
"Yes, there is going to be an 8.5 Richter shake-up (in the police force) soon in July," a source told ST.
When asked who will be the first to be replaced, the source said: "No. 1", referring to the IGP.
Malaysia's police chief, Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun (pic), was appointed nine months ago by former premier Najib Razak to replace Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The sources did not say why Fuzi would be replaced.
The three departments expected to be scrapped are the Special Task Force for Anti-vice, Gaming and Gangsterism (STAGG), Special Task Force on Organised Crime (STAFOC) and Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING).
These changes mirror movements in top positions in other agencies as the month-old Pakatan Harapan administration consolidates its position and seeks to reform the Government.
Speaking about the expected shutdown of the three "special" departments, a source said a big problem was their suspected involvement in corruption and protecting the criminals they were supposed to rein in.
"That's one of the main reasons why there are plans to abolish STAGG, STAFOC and STING. Too many of those who were entrusted to fight the underworld are also the ones who protect them," another source said.
In last year's Transparency International survey of Malaysians, the police force was judged to be the most corrupt institution in the country.
Malaysia's police intelligence department, the Special Branch, has submitted to the government three names of potential candidates to lead the Royal Malaysia Police.
One of them is deputy police chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim, one of the sources said. Tan Sri Noor Rashid, 60, has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in physics from Universiti Malaya.
Known for his no-nonsense approach, he previously headed the national Narcotic Criminal Investigation Department before being promoted to his current post.
Noor Rashid has held many other top posts in a 31-year career, including as Sabah police commissioner.
Another name submitted to the government is Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, the source said.
Prior to being appointed to lead the Strategic Resources and Technology Department, Acryl was head of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department.
Over the years, he has also held the posts of Sarawak police chief and Perak police chief.
The name of the third candidate could not be confirmed.
Several other higher-ranking department chiefs did not make the cut due to them "not being clean", the source said.
"Some of them have excessive wealth. It doesn't make sense how some of them can have so many luxury cars, on top of living in a bungalow.
"Some also misused their power - one of them had abused his power when he headed a department by using the service of outriders. He was not entitled (at the time)," the source said.
Some others among them were judged to have come up short in loyalty as they belonged to Datuk Seri Najib's camp.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last month that he faces the problem of "trying to trust people to investigate him (Najib)".
Meanwhile, in an interview with Sinar Harian newspaper, Dr Mahathir said the initial decision that he would be prime minister for two years was not set in stone.
"It (two years) is a suggestion, but we are not fixed on this. It could be earlier, or even later." - Straits Times/Asia News Network