The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) commends Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador for his tough stance on “crooked and corrupt police personnel”, including calling out top cops and his former predecessors.
His recent statements – that a cartel of officers on the ground are working to oust him, that officers are afraid to take action because former inspector generals in the past were fine with taking money, and that even those who had retired from the force are still looking to use their powers in the police force – are deeply disturbing and confirm the deep-rooted stench in the police force.
If these revelations aren’t shocking enough, the response by the current administration is even more astonishing and makes a mockery of accountability in government.
Takiyuddin Hassan, Minister (for Parliament and law) in the Prime Minister’s Department, stated that this is an “internal matter” that can be handled by the Police Force Commission. This shows a failure on his part to honestly comprehend the depth of the problem.
That the inspector general himself is now suggesting that it could be solved internally after bravely revealing so much, only raises eyebrows as to his sudden change of stance!
As it stands, there already appears to be a serious trust deficit with the current Integrity and Standards Compliance Department (of the police) and the Police Force Commission in calling out and penalising corrupt officers.
Internal probes have hardly resulted in punitive or strict action, hence the latest exposé by the inspector gneeral warrants, once again, a strong push for an independent commission to address police conduct, which has been mooted for years.
Confidence in an accountable police force has taken a further beating by the proposed watered-down Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill that was presented at the end of October 2020. This bill is in effect not independent, when the reporting lines remain with the Ministry of Home Affairs and where cross-border financial crimes, already more complex by virtue of cyber networks, enforcement officials, banks, and influential personalities, will not be able to be handled by the police force or the bill itself.
C4 Center backs the calls for a royal commission of inquiry to be opened against the “cartel” in the police force and reiterates the need for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission with enough teeth to get through to influential figures and officials, without favour or fear.
We have made several attempts to reach out to the inspector general of police previously to offer much-needed support and collaboration against corruption among law enforcement. We reiterate again today that he needs much support and strength from the administration to move these revelations towards a more independent tribunal or royal commission of inquiry to establish the truth and scale of corruption in the police force.
The prime minister has, after all, mentioned many times that his administration remains committed to combating corruption. Do not let this brave exposé by the inspector general go in vain. – C4 Center