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Monday, May 3, 2021

Hamid Bador had nothing under control

 


“It is all under control; I know who they are and what they are doing and I will take action.” 

– Abdul Hamid Bador

You have to give it to Abdul Hamid Bador, he is going out with a bang. You have to wonder - with the way the PDRM is conducting business these days and investigating certain people who exercise free speech - if the former inspector-general of police will be on the PDRM’s manure list.

I have no idea why people would even ask what Hamid’s motives are for spilling the beans at this moment. What an absurd question. 

Here we have the top cop of the country attacking the political apparatus, making allegations against the home minister and political frogs, questioning the legality of the appointment of his successor and some people think that the big takeaways are his motives?

Hamid likes to think he is revealing all now because he ”…. was busy trying to fix internal issues”, but the fact that he held a press conference of this nature is evidence of his failures. When he first talked about the “cartel” which was out to topple him, he reassured everyone that he could handle them.

Read his statements here, where he said that he was going to handle the problems in the house and that there was no need for an RCI (royal commission of inquiry), as if the state security apparatus was exempt from public scrutiny and legal processes - "I have explained it, that it is within my control. Why I shared this issue with the public is because I want the public to know that I know what they know (about issues plaguing the force)."

It is not for the IGP of this country to “handle” a group of rogue cops out to topple him and in the process engage in possibly criminal behaviour. 

The fact that de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan publicly stated that these allegations should be handled “in house” is also the kind of political interference that the IGP has railed against before - but now seems to think is an acceptable outcome for rogue police officers whom he claims he wants off the force.

De facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan

The collusion between the state security apparatus and the political apparatus as an extension of political power is not new, of course. Hamid laments the power-hungry nature of certain political operatives, the interference of the political apparatus which oftentimes undermines the manner in which the security apparatus discharges its duties is actually mainstream in this country.

What Hamid did was merely confirm – and yes I give him credit for that, whatever his motives – that the political apparatus is aligning itself with state security personnel for mutual gain. Nobody says “our boy” without the underlying understanding that profit (political or otherwise) and cooperation, are the foundation of such promotions.

You can bet that “our boy” would be more amenable to anything the political class wanted and all these pesky talks about independent police commission and any form of public accountability would be thrown out the window. In other words, what the rakyat are left with is a political apparatus and a state security apparatus, which are beyond political and public oversight.

Say what you like about Hamid, but at least he entertained such ideas. The PDRM these days seems more interested in going after someone for causing animosity between the police and the public, which is strange because the public has always been sceptical of the PDRM, even more than they are of the political class. 

Police corruption was not something Hamid was afraid to talk about and this put him far ahead of other police potentates who ignored the issue or scapegoated an entire community, like the Terengganu police chief did with his ideas of race and crime. 

Hamid rightly raised the issue of corruption in the police force and he does deserve credit for doing more walking than talking when it came to this issue. 

But of course, the beast (system) was more than Hamid could contend with. Either he overestimated his influence or underestimated his adversaries.

Not that the nature of the beast was hidden. When two high-ranking and retired state security personnel wage a very public war accusing each other of corruption and malfeasance, you have to wonder whether it is a miracle that this country did not become one of Donald Trump’s "shit hole" countries a long time ago.

What we were witness to was the power play that went on between two former high-ranking police officers, which no doubt crossed from the bureaucratic to criminal, if the allegations and counter-allegations are to be believed. 

It also highlights the shadowy nexus between organised crime and law enforcement with added racial overtones, which is naturally par for the course in this country.

Hamid has in past pressers made allegations of former senior officers, including former police chiefs, engaged in acts that destabilise the integrity of the police force. All this is a matter of public record. 

The public has a right to know what exactly is going on and the measures being taken to correct the systemic dysfunction in the state security apparatus. 

Unfortunately, the public knows that nothing will ever come of these allegations. We have a history of not doing anything and for handling things "in-house".

This is the milieu political, racial and religious that Hamid was operating in, and we are to believe he wanted to reform. The fact is that whatever political plays he made in service of those goals failed. 

And yes, when you are the IGP, politics plays a very big part in the job. It is the same in any functional democracy.

The problem is that we were a dysfunctional democracy, and now, because the PN government does not think we need to resume Parliament anytime soon, we are not even a democracy. 

As for his comments on the Indira Gandhi case, blaming NGOs for the lack of will on the part of the PDRM, is laughable, but I suppose par for the course when it comes to the racial and religious dynamics at play.

Ultimately, Hamid could not tame the beast and now he shouts impotently at it, while out of time. - Mkini


S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

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