TAN Sri Abdul Hamid Bador has handed over the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) baton to Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, but not before making it red hot.
Nevertheless, it came as a great relief and saved the Royal Malaysia Police from any legal challenge to the validity of the new IGP’s appointment. It would have been a devastating blow to morale if the handing-over was disputed at any stage.
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 force complied 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.
These allegations must be investigated transparently with due process through the criminal justice system to ensure that those who are guilty are brought to justice.
If the allegations are false, then those who cannot prove them must also bear the legal consequences. If not brought to a conclusive end, the people’s trust and confidence in the police will be affected, notwithstanding the fact that lack of effective action will not only be unfair to the serving personnel but also to those who 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 Kanna case puts the police on serious notice to not depend solely on preventive laws. (On April 27, the Federal Court ordered the release of Datuk Zaidi Kanapiah, better known as Datuk Addy Kanna, a businessman implicated in a Macau scam and online gambling activities, and two cops who were detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959).
They must 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 opinion that the Executive has too much influence over the police 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, and guarded the demarcated line between the Executive and police.
Hamid has been courageous in opening a bigger Pandora’s box. His successor must now take firm action to put to bed all of these allegations swiftly.
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. These recommendations would have gone a long way to making the police force more professional.
It is also imperative for Acryl to be at the forefront in widening the separation of powers between the police and the Executive.
We look forward to a rejuvenated police force under the new IGP’s command.
G. SELVA , Ipoh