Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani today said that police escorts for former prime ministers will only be terminated for those facing criminal charges after their court appeals have been fully exhausted.
He explained that police escort privileges are accorded according to the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980 that includes such services for former prime ministers.
“There have been comments and rumours regarding the privileges of police traffic escorts for former prime ministers.
“Currently police provide these services to all former prime ministers according to the law. For those facing charges in court, the police will continue on providing these privileges until the appeal process has been finalised by the court,” he said in a statement.
The only former prime minister so far to be convicted and sentenced for a crime so far is Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He was found guilty of seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abusing his position in government in the misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
The High Court sentenced him to 12 years in jail and a RM210 million fine, which Najib is currently appealing.
Najib is also standing trial for multiple criminal and corruption charges on 1MDB and a related case on tampering with a federal audit report.
Several Malaysians took to social media recently and questioned the police’s outrider services accorded to Najib after images of the Pekan MP walking around freely in Melaka for the state election were widely shared online.
They asked why such a person facing court cases continues to enjoy such police escort privileges.
In 2016, police revoked escort services for former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after he openly participated in several rallies critical of then prime minister Najib during his time.
In 2019, after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election with Dr Mahathir appointed as prime minister, police outrider services for Najib were restricted and even his security personnel were recalled.
Police issued a statement then saying Najib could only request for a motorcade while on official business.