IN-DEPTH investigations into the allegation over a cartel within the police force and issues pertaining to it need to be carried out immediately without further delay.
Recently, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador had claimed the existence of a cartel within the police force. Hamid Bador made the disclosure during an exclusive interview with a local media on the alleged existence of a cartel within the force involving younger officers who were trying to topple him.
According to him, the cartel also wanted to gain control and dominate the security forces in the country in order to achieve their personal agenda. All these allegations must be dealt with seriously and properly and investigated to protect the reputation of our police force and the security of our nation.
The urgent need for investigations is necessary to protect public trust and confidence in the police. The presence of a reputable police force is important to maintain peace and protect the nation’s stability. It is crucial for the police to be free from these serious allegation, which can affect their reputation.
The government needs to seriously consider the suggestion to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry, or RCI, to investigate the allegation raised by the IGP. Setting up an RCI is the best option because the allegation can be investigated independently and without any conflict of interest.
The RCI should consist of independent parties and experts in the related field. Setting up an RCI will show the public that the allegation is being taken seriously and tackled professionally.
An RCI is normally set up to look into matters of importance and that are controversial. According to the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 [Act 119], an RCI may be convened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and this is done at the advice of the prime minister.
The RCI has the power to examine persons regarding the matter. They also have the power to summon any person to appear before them to give evidence.
Calling for an RCI is not something new in our country. Among the RCIs that were set up were the Royal Commission on Salaries and Conditions of Service of the Public Service in 1965, Royal Commission of Inquiry to Investigate the Workings of Local Authorities in West Malaysia in 1968, Royal Commission on the Teaching Services in 1971, Royal Commission of Inquiry on the collapse of the upper deck of the Pengkalan Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal in Butterworth in 1988, Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate a fire at Sekolah Agama Rakyat Taufikah al-Halimah in Padang Lumat, Yan, Kedah in 1989, Royal Commission of Inquiry into the fire at the Bright Sparklers factory in Sungai Buloh New Village in 1991, Royal Commission to investigate the alleged injuries suffered by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while in police custody in 1999, Royal Commission for Police Reform 2004, Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip in 2007, Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Teoh Beng Hock case in 2010, Royal Commission of Inquiry into the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah in 2012, and Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Wang Kelian mass grave in 2015.
Although the IGP is doing an excellent job by bringing the allegations to the fore, the fight against corruption and abuses cannot be his effort alone. Everybody should play their role by supporting the IGP to ensure integrity in the police force and flush out those who are a threat.
Separately, Malaysia should also ensure that the appointment and removal of IGPs go through parliament. This process of appointment will act as a check and balance, and will help remove the threat of cartels in the force.
This process of appointment will give future IGPs confidence to clean up and make necessary improvements within the existing system as they are answerable to a group of representatives, who are elected by the people.
Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow is an associate professor in the Faculty of Syariah & Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is Muar Member of Parliament. Comment:firstname.lastname@example.org