Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (JSJK) director, Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh, dubbed Malaysia’s most popular Sikh, officially retires from the force today.
- 35 years of service
- Notable achievements include solving the arson case at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre in two days
- Made KL deputy police chief in 2010, Bukit Aman CID deputy director in 2014, KL police chief in 2016 – the only senior ranking Sikh police officer to date to be appointed to this position
- Has a Bachelor of Science, a law degree, a degree in Criminal Justice, a Diploma in Syariah Law
- 1MDB the biggest and most memorable challenge of his career
- Father and grandfather were also in the police force
Amar, who is retiring at the age of 60, began his career in the police force on Feb 27, 1983.
While he has been in the force for 35 years his rise to social media fame came this year when he was tasked with handling the police investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
He is popular among netizens due to his witty and spontaneous remarks in a series of media conferences.
In September, Amar had been asked to comment on the announcement that the book Billion Dollar Whale, which explores businessperson Jho Low’s role in the 1MDB scandal, was to be turned into a film.
He quipped: “I have no comment. I am about to read the book. Probably, they need to call me to act in the part for the raids in Pavilion. I know you wanted me to say that.”
Just over a week after Barisan Nasional’s loss in the 14th general election, police had raided a number of residences linked to former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and his family, including apartments at the upscale Pavilion Residences.
During the Pavilion raids, reporters had asked Amar when the search would end, to which he replied crisply: “It will end when it ends.”
Amar handed over the reins to Deputy Comm Datuk Saiful Azly Kamaruddin, who will be the CCID acting director during a ceremony held at the Police Training Centre on Wednesday (Dec 5).
The ceremony was witnessed by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
“Comm Amar has served the police force with great distinction and honour.
“He is truly a rare gem of a policeman and I wish him a happy retirement,” he said.
Among Amar’s notable achievements is solving the arson case at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre in two days while he was the Kuala Lumpur chief of police. The fire claimed 23 lives.
Born on June 6, 1958, in Kinta, Perak, Amar joined the police force as an assistant cadet.
Amar was made Kuala Lumpur Pulapol commandant in 2007, Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief in 2010, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department deputy director in 2014 and Kuala Lumpur police chief in 2016.
He became director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department on Oct 13 last year – the only senior ranking Sikh police officer to date to be appointed as JSJK director.
Amar was up for mandatory retirement on June 6. However, the Police Commission (SPP) extended his contract for six months following his involvement in handling the 1MDB investigation.
In his farewell speech, Amar thanked the police leadership for trusting him to hold various positions in his 35 years of service.
“I am thankful to the IGP, deputy IGP and the directors for the trust they have given me in executing my duties all this while.
“I love my job as a police officer and when we like what we do, we will not look at it as a boring or tedious chore, on the contrary, it is something we enjoy.
“It becomes a satisfaction when we are able to complete the tasks given to the best of our abilities,” he told reporters today.
Amar has a Bachelor of Science from Universiti Malaya (UM) as well as a degree in law from the University of Buckingham and a Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) from the Legal Profession Qualifying Board.
He also has a degree in Criminal Justice from UM and a Diploma in Syariah Law and Legal Practice from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).
Amar said leading the police investigation into 1MDB was one of the biggest and most memorable challenges of his career.
He also said if given another chance, he would still choose to serve in the police force.
“Although my duties have ended, the police force will still be close to my heart. This is because my grandfather, father and I all joined the force,” he said.
The IGP said today that investigations into 1MDB will not be disrupted by Amar’s retirement.
He said the probe will now be handled by Saiful, whom he said would continue the good work started off by Amar.
“Not only investigations concerning 1MDB, but other investigations would also be taken over and handled by Datuk Saiful, as the acting director of CCID,” Fuzi said.