PETALING JAYA: Several civil groups and NGOs have called for a clean-up of the police force and a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to be set up following allegations by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador that a group of junior police officers is trying to topple him.
The NGO Edict (Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together) called for an RCI to be set up, adding that only an independent commission would be able to identify operatives behind the alleged cartel.
It also urged for the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to be established soon as a long-term solution to such problems.
“The government cannot expect the police to investigate their own personnel in situations like this because there is a possibility that the alleged cartel might have influenced other departments within the force, ” it said.
Edict also said that peace and harmony in the country could be threatened if these allegations are left unchecked.
The IPCMC Bill was withdrawn in August last year and replaced with the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill, which, unlike the original, does not have disciplinary powers to deal with police misconduct.
Abdul Hamid, 62, is currently serving his two-year post-retirement contract that began on May 4,2019, and is slated to end on May 3.
During an interview programme with Sinar Harian on Wednesday, Abdul Hamid said an unscrupulous group of junior police officers was trying to tarnish his image.
The IGP made the remarks when asked about an internal group linked to cartels within the police force who wanted to take over to enable them to carry on with “their dirty work”.
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said Abdul Hamid’s statement would be a good starting point to conduct an audit of the force.
“To admit that it happened, that is the only way Malaysia can move forward.
“There is a need to clean up the system. Now that the top-ranked policeman has mentioned it, it has become a serious national concern, ” said its commissioner Jerald Joseph.
He revealed that in the past, about 20% of the complaints they had received involved enforcement agencies such as the police.
“Any institution that holds power must have an independent oversight body for checks and balances.
“The force cannot be tainted because of a few black sheep. If an IPCMC is going to help clear them out, it would be to the credit of the force, ” he said.
He added that the police had been against any such body as they said they were being targeted.
“It focuses on the police because they are an all-powerful body. They are duty-bound to the nation to ensure they are clean, ” he said.
Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft (Marah) founder Dave Avran said he was not surprised by Abdul Hamid’s claim.
“The level of corruption has dramatically increased and there are those who are willing to compromise their ideals because the rewards are just too tempting, ” he said.
Dave said those threatening the IGP could have been bought over by crime syndicates dealing in, among others, prostitution, online gambling and drugs.
He said Abdul Hamid would need to crack down harder on corruption within the force.
“I would like to see a clean-up of the force. It’s going to be a challenge but it would be better for him to deal with the problem before he retires and leave behind a good name, ” he said.
National Patriots Association president Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said Abdul Hamid’s statement is serious and should not be taken lightly.