Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun is the country’s new Inspector-General of Police (IGP), succeeding Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who retired on Monday but was appointed as group chairman of Prasarana by the prime minister today.
What is hoped of the new IGP includes:
- Raising the force’s standards
- Restoring public confidence in the police
- Depoliticising Malaysian police
- Disbanding social media unit in Bukit Aman
- Making crime and corruption priority
- Reopening 1MDB probe
The appointment of the Special Branch Department director, ahead of Deputy IGP Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, took many by surprise.
It was thought that Noor Rashid would take over from Khalid, with Fuzi replacing Noor Rashid.
Before he was appointed to head the Special Branch in July 2015, Fuzi had previously held the Bukit Aman Management director and Acting Deputy IGP posts.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Shariff will take over from Fuzi as the head of the Special Branch. Prior to the CID, Mokhtar was the Johor police chief before becoming the head of the narcotics unit.
Noor Rashid remains in his current position but with a promotion in his service grade.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the appointments, adding that the decision to appoint Fuzi as the nation’s top cop was based on a recommendation of the police commission.
Zahid also witnessed the handing-over ceremony at the Police Training Centre in Jalan Semarak.
Khalid was honoured at a special parade to mark his retirement. In his retirement speech, he said he was guided by loyalty throughout his career and that he pledged his “heart and soul” to the agency.
“Truly, I have given my all and my best and there is nothing more that can be assumed as unfinished business which I need to settle,” Khalid said.
Today, the prime minister appointed Khalid as the group chairman of Prasarana as well as the special envoy to enhance relations for efforts against terrorism, extremism and human trafficking.
Meanwhile, civil society groups have voiced hope that the 11th IGP will raise the force’s standards.
Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) told FMT that it hoped Fuzi would improve on the force’s accountability measures, especially on deaths in police custody and ill-treatment of police detainees.
AIM also hoped Fuzi will ensure more meaningful dialogue with civil society groups on various human rights issues, including police conduct during public rallies and gatherings.
FMT reported that Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said she hoped the new IGP can restore public confidence in the police by stamping out corruption in the force. She said this could be done by implementing the recommendations of the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into police reforms in 2004.
The RCI had, among other things, called for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to be set up to provide an appropriate external check-and-balance on the police.
“I hope Fuzi will set higher standards for the police to make the force more credible, efficient and trustworthy,” Maria said.
Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) spokesperson Thomas Fann hoped that Fuzi will put more resources into solving cases of missing people, FMT reported.
“Despite the resources available to the police, we have unresolved cases of missing people, including Pastor Raymond Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and Perlis-based social activist Amri Che Mat,” FANN SAID.
“We hope that he will ensure the family members are updated directly. They shouldn’t have to receive updates through the media,” he added.
As for Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, he urged Fuzi to depoliticise the Malaysian police. He said this urgent task should be carried out during Fuzi’s first week in office in order to revive people’s confidence in the force.
Political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, better known as Zunar, called on the newly-minted IGP to bring back the police force to the right track.
“He needs to disband the social media unit in Bukit Aman and make (fighting) crime and corruption his priority. He should reopen the 1MDB probe,” Zunar said in a statement.
Malaysiakini reported that he cartoonist claimed Fuzi’s predecessor Khalid had spent too much time on Twitter, to the point he was called “ketua twitter negara” instead of “ketua polis negara”.
Related report: Aug 23, IGP Khalid Confirms Retirement Next Month