Former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar said no minister could order a commissioner of police (CP) to do what they were “legally bound not to do”.
This was contained in a congratulatory message to incoming IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, which is currently making the rounds on social media.
Citing a case from England, Hanif said this was contained in a judgment by Lord Denning in the case R v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, ex parte Blackburn, reported in 1968.
Hanif, who was the country’s top cop for 20 years, said only the CP could decide the priority he would place on any one of his duties.
“The police must bow down only to the law and not to any other person, albeit his own minister,” he said in a separate message to FMT.
Hanif’s message comes in the wake of outgoing IGP Abdul Hamid Bador’s revelation of home minister Hamzah Zainudin’s interference in police matters.
According to Hamid, an order had been issued by Hamzah to postpone the transfers of senior members of the force decided on earlier.
He also said Hamzah had been pushing to get power to determine where certain police officers should be placed.
Hanif, in his message, also recalled the time he had met Acryl Sani when he returned from his study leave in the UK to find that the latter and his wife were engineers but had chosen to be in the police force.
He went on to say that Acryl Sani had persevered in the force and was now going to helm it.
“Various (police) cartels are waiting for the action you will take,” he said, possibly alluding to Hamid’s allegation that there was a cartel comprising younger police officers who wanted to dominate the force.
Meanwhile, former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan has claimed that politicians interfered with police affairs even during his tenure, and the culture has continued till today.
Utusan Malaysia reported that Musa — whose tenure began in 2006 and ended in 2010 — said politicians had tried to control police officers on the job and this was done without the IGP’s knowledge.
“During my time, there were politicians who asked police to release their gang members, and there were also those who gave instructions to state police chiefs without my knowledge.
“These political interferences in investigations have occurred to the point it can disrupt the investigation process,” he was quoted as saying.