Young Turks in the police force who are plotting to bring down Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador are unhappy and feel threatened with his strong anti-corruption stand, sources said.
Sources from the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman told The Malaysian Insight the threats to topple Hamid are real as the IGP has been very open about combating graft among police officers, which has rubbed the culprits the wrong way.
“He does not hold back. He has even criticised his men in public when allegations of graft cropped up,” said a senior federal police source.
“The bad apples are feeling very uneasy now, and the only way out was to get rid of Hamid.
“The IGP has been very open in media conferences when there were allegations against his men. He has taken measures to weed out the bad hats.”
Hamid, who was made IGP during the Pakatan Harapan administration in May 2019, has constantly reminded and warned his men to stay clear of graft.
In March 2020, during a presentation of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) in Kelantan, Hamid expressed his frustration over the alleged corrupt practices among police personnel.
In September the same year, he instructed Bukit Aman’s Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) and Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (JSJK) to carry out investigations into allegations that police officers had protected money-laundering activities.
In January this year, Hamid sternly warned his men that they will be dismissed if they were found protecting criminals or taking bribes.
In his latest salvo, the IGP blew his top when reports came out that an officer from the Penang Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) had released suspects involved in a Macau Scam.
“We are taking drastic action because this is clearly a betrayal of the trust placed on him (the officer involved).”
Hamid said that taking disciplinary action was not good enough, suggesting that the officer and his men must be sacked or demoted.
Sources told The Malaysian Insight that in almost all of Hamid’s press conferences, he will touch on corruption.
“If I am a bad cop, I would want him out as soon as possible because he is interfering,” the source said.
Hamid has not lodged a police report apart from making the announcement that junior cops were out to get him.
Former IGP Musa Hassan said this was not the right move and urged Hamid to lodge a formal complaint.
“He cannot wait any longer. He must lodge a report so a probe can be conducted,” Musa said, admitting factions in the force have existed for quite some time, even during his tenure.
Former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Zaman Khan attributed this problem to the power struggle going on in Bukit Aman due to the large number of officers in very senior positions.
“There are too many cops in senior positions. This is creating factions and power struggles.
“During my time there was no such thing because there were only four or five of us (senior officers) and every promotion of young officers went through us.
“I personally had nominated some young officers but were not promoted. They were screened thoroughly. It was very strict back then. Nowadays, I don’t know how officers are promoted. Were there thorough checks?” said Zaman, who was CID director from 1989 to 1994.
Meanwhile, several civil groups and NGOs have called for a clean-up of the police force and a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to be set up.
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said Hamid’s statement would be a good starting point to conduct an audit of the force.
“To admit that it happened, that is the only way Malaysia can move forward.
“There is a need to clean up the system. Now that the top-ranked policeman has mentioned it, it has become a serious national concern,” said its commissioner Jerald Joseph.
He revealed that in the past, about 20% of the complaints they had received involved enforcement agencies such as the police.
“Any institution that holds power must have an independent oversight body for checks and balances.
He added that the police had been against any such body as they said they were being targeted.
“It focuses on the police because they are an all-powerful body. They are duty-bound to the nation to ensure they are clean,” he said.
Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft (Marah) founder Dave Avran said he was not surprised by Abdul Hamid’s claim.
“The level of corruption has dramatically increased and there are those who are willing to compromise their ideals because the rewards are just too tempting,” he said.
He said Hamid would need to crack down harder on corruption within the force.
“I would like to see a clean-up of the force. It’s going to be a challenge, but it would be better for him to deal with the problem before he retires and leave behind a good name,” he said.
National Patriots Association president Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said Abdul Hamid’s statement is serious and should not be taken lightly.