The outgoing Inspector-General of Police says he could only speak out against political interference in police appointments now because he had his hands full fixing other problems.
“I was busy trying to fix internal issues,” Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador told Malaysiakini in a text message.
He claimed that the meddling became more intense as it came closer to the end of his tenure as IGP.
“Recently, as the expiry of my contract drew near, the minister’s meddling intensified in an effort to ensure ‘budak-budak kita’ (our boys) fill important positions.”
The phrase “our boys” refers to a viral audio clip where a voice that sounded like Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin could be heard in a conversation about police top brass appointments.
Among others, the voice in the audio clip asked if “our boy” from “Ipoh” was to be promoted. The voice also suggested that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would be agreeable.
“All placement plans were scuttled by the delay (because) of the police commission meeting.
“It was done on purpose to allow me to leave first,” he said on Saturday (May 1).
In a no-holds-barred press conference on Friday (April 30), which was his last as the IGP, Abdul Hamid said the Police Force Commission (SPP) should not be chaired by a minister to prevent political interference.
He said a minister should not interfere in the management of the police force.
“A minister should focus on matters involving policies, not deciding who will be CPO (state police chiefs) or (Bukit Aman) directors.
“I propose for former chief justices or former judges to helm the SPP instead of a minister,” he said on Friday.
He lamented the alleged interference of Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in the SPP.
“Since the beginning, he insisted on making the decision on who would get appointed.
“It is hard for me as a leader to operate and arrange the deployment of personnel and officers with such intervention.
“I discussed the matter with the minister, the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Government.
“It is not good for the country if a minister still insists on having such power,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said that the proposal to have a non-politician as the SPP chairman was made previously but to no avail.
According to the Federal Constitution, the commission is chaired by the home minister and its members include the IGP, the Home Ministry secretary-general, a member of the public service commission, and between two and six other members appointed by the Agong.
Hamid, at the press conference, alleged that the police force commission had been compromised by “political elements” due to Hamzah’s actions.