The latest news reports alleging that Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had withheld the transfer orders of senior police officers are disturbing.
It was also reported that Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador had issued the order for the transfers of the senior officers prior to his going on leave.
If the allegation is true, then the home minister has interfered and countermanded the orders of the inspector general and has stepped beyond the bounds of his authority.
The inspector general has prerogatives in the command and control of the police force and all the officers and men under him. That includes disciplining and transferring his officers. Section 4 (1) of the Police Act 1967 empowers the inspector general in “the control and direction of the Force and all other persons appointed or engaged for police duties, and who shall have all the powers conferred on a Commissioner or a Chief Police Officer”.
The Police Act is very clear regarding the inspector general’s authority in the disciplinary control exercisable. The transferring of officers on disciplinary grounds is within his jurisdiction. The Police Force Commission, chaired by the home minister, has jurisdiction over disciplinary and transfer matters only if there is no other law that covers this matter. The Police Act gives that power to the inspector general.
As such, Patriot feels no politician, including the home minister, should interfere in the inspector general’s authority to discipline and transfer his personnel.
The case of the Macau scandal and the police cartel is still fresh in the national news. Some police officers were reportedly involved in organised crime.
Hamid has been trying hard to clear the image of the police force since he assumed office in 2019. He has the gall to publicly confront the rot that has been happening in the force for some years.
The people applaud his action. All cabinet members, including the home minister, must support him.
Stopping the transfers of officers for disciplinary reasons, which was already decided by the inspector general, is an act of bad faith and contravenes the Police Act.
Any attempt to derail what he is trying to do to clean the image of the force will be seen as sabotage and going against the will of the people.
Retired Brigadier General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)