Patriot: Minister may have violated Police Act in stopping transfer of officers

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Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin may have contravened the Police Act by countermanding the inspector-general of police (IGP)’s order for the transfer of police officers, cautioned Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.

In a statement today, Patriot president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said he found news reports alleging Hamzah had withheld the transfer of senior police officers as very disturbing.

“If the allegation is true, then the home minister has interfered and countermanded the orders of the IGP and has stepped beyond the bounds of his authority.

“Stopping the transfer of officers for disciplinary reasons that was already decided by the IGP is an act of bad faith and contravening the Police Act.

Kamarul Ariffin/The Star

“Any attempt to derail what he is trying to do to clean the image of the force is seen as a sabotage and against the will of the people,” Arshad said.

He added that the IGP has the prerogative to command and control the police force and all officers under him, which includes disciplining and transferring officers.

He stressed that Section 4(1) of the Police Act 1967 empowers the IGP in “the control and direction of the Force and all other persons appointed or engaged for police duties, and who shall have all the powers conferred on a Commissioner or a Chief Police Officer.”

“The Police Act is very clear with regards to the IGP’s authority in the disciplinary control he may exercise. Transferring officers on disciplinary grounds is within his jurisdiction,” Arshad said.

He explained that the Police Force Commission, which is chaired by the home minister, has jurisdiction over disciplinary and transfer matters only if there is no other law that covers this matter.

“The Police Act gives that power to the IGP. As such, Patriot feels no politician, including the home minister, should interfere in the IGP’s authority to discipline and transfer his men,” he said.

Citing the Macau scandal and police cartel which implicated some police officers, Arshad said IGP Abdul Hamid Bador has been trying hard to clean the image of the police force.

Thus, he called on all politicians, including the home minister, to support Hamid’s effort.

“He has the gall to publicly confront the rot that has been happening in the force for some years. The people applaud his action. All cabinet members, including the home minister, must support him,” Arshad said.

According to media reports, a message went viral on Facebook yesterday alleging there was interference in a police transfer exercise.

The message claimed that transfers of officers ordered by the IGP had been postponed under the order of the minister in charge of home affairs.

Subsequently, Hamid reportedly said he would be meeting Hamzah soon to proceed with the plan and to explain his action in issuing the orders. – Malaysiakini