Several NGOs are upset that an order by Malaysia’s highest court appears to have been disregarded.
Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador is reported to have said publicly that he knows where Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband, Muhamad Riduan Abdullah is, that he has urged Riduan to “come forward” and that his goal is to avoid the arrest of Riduan and get a “win-win” outcome.
The inspector general’s comments have drawn widespread public ire, as reported widely in the media, because it shows belligerent contempt for the Federal Court.
Despite the outpouring of public ire, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong have not responded publicly.
The two ministers have failed to meet the expectations of the public on several matters relating to the police. But the matter of the inspector general’s remarks about Riduan caps them all because it reveals the type of policing he promotes and practises.
In 1979 Chief Justice Raja Azlan Shah, in a landmark decision, quoted with approval the words: “Every legal power must have legal limits, otherwise there is dictatorship.”
Those words were cited in the 30 December 2015 Federal Court decision in which five judges unanimously upheld a 30 May 2014 decision of the Ipoh High Court (paragraph 116).
That High Court, nearly six years ago, ordered the inspector general to “apprehend the Defendant, Patmanathan A/L Krishnan @ Muhammad Riduan bin Abdullah (No. K/P: 690526-08-5987), for the purpose of obtaining information as to Prasana Diksa’s whereabouts” (page 121).
To date, the police have failed to fulfil that order.
The inspector general’s remarks signal that he has stepped out of the legal limits imposed upon him by the Police Act 1967 (Sections 3, 19 and 20). And he has explicitly chosen to disregard an order affirmed by Malaysia’s highest court.
In the words of Raja Azlan, echoed in the Federal Court five years ago, the inspector general has chosen to be dictatorial.
Neither the home minister nor the law minister has publicly censored the inspector general of police for his remarks. This shows that the minister responsible for the police and the minister who is supposed to be the voice of the judiciary condone the attitude of the inspector general.
The attitude of the inspector general and condonation by the two ministers shows contempt for the judiciary and for the principle of rule of law.
The proneness of the police to operate lawlessly, outside the legal limits set by the Police Act, must be curbed. This can only be achieved if ministers and the cabinet respond promptly and publicly to egregious statements made by the inspector general and other senior police officers.
The Pakatan Harapan government must do what they promised during the last general election. They must remedy the rot which has been entrenched by the Barisan Nasional government.
In the face of such flagrant overstepping of legal limits, the cabinet must demonstrate that the government honours the rule of law and rejects dictatorial policing. This is a matter of grave national importance.
We call on the cabinet to urge Inspector General Hamid Bador, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong to resign. If the cabinet does not respond within seven days, we will be compelled to assemble at the Prime Minister’s Office to press our request.
12 February 2020
- Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody (Edict)
- Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (Caged)
- Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
- Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
- Minority Rights Action Party (MIRA)