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Monday, May 10, 2021

Ministers should learn jurisdiction of public service - Musa Hassan


Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Musa Hassan said any new cabinet minister should undergo a course on the jurisdiction of the civil service.

He said this was necessary in view of politicians appearing clueless on the scope of the civil service, especially the police.

“They don’t know how the civil service works. They just know how to give instructions.

“We civil servants, especially the police chief, have to advise the politicians. We can’t take instructions from them.

“We advise them on the best options available so they can take action (at a policy level),” he said.

Musa said this during an interview with Garasi TV last night. Musa was the IGP from 2006 to 2010.

The interview centered on claims that the police were being controlled by politicians, corruption and allegations that politicians had underworld links.

Musa said politicians tend to give the impression that they have the police under their thumb, but that was not true.

“Sometimes, the politicians will say things like ‘I’ve instructed the IGP to do this and that’. You’ve heard that before right?

“They can’t do that. It is wrong. This confuses the public,” he said.

Musa said he had suffered the same “wounds” as Abdul Hamid Bador, who retired as IGP last Monday. Hamid said that his tenure was fraught with interference from Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin.

Musa said the Police Act 1967 has clearly outlined the instruction and control of the police force comes from the top cop, not from the ministers, thus politicians are not able to use the police force to their advantage.

The Home Ministry, he said, is a ministry responsible for the police affairs from the aspect of welfare, needs and allocation.

“So, there is a need to have a minister,” he said.

As for the appointment of senior police officers, Musa said it is up to the joint discussion of the nine-member-Police Force Commission (SPP) which is chaired by the home minister, instead of the absolute power of any individual sitting in the committee.

Musa, however, admitted that some politicians had tried to interfere in police affairs, including during his tenure as the IGP.

The fact is, he said, the top cop who is less popular with the prime minister and the minister may face accusations. He also admitted that politicians may use their power to get rid of an IGP who is deemed not in line with them.

It’s up the IGP and senior officers to decide whether to follow the politician’s instructions which may violate the law and their jurisdiction, he said. - Mkini

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