On 3 May, Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador will serve his last day in the police force before formally handing command to Deputy Inspector General Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
The inspector general has put in more than 30 years of illustrious and dedicated service to the nation.
Patriot has all praises for the inspector general who, upon assuming the post two years ago, did his best to clean the image and raised the esteem of the force in the public eye.
On 24 March this year, Hamid made a startling claim that some senior officers within the force were corrupt through their purported dealings with underworld criminals.
He also claimed the existence of a cartel of subordinate officers who aimed to topple him and to place selected officers to appointments that in later years would see them secure critical positions that would protect the activities of the underworld.
Hamid further claimed there were cases where serving officers were required to solicit money from the underworld to be handed over to retired senior officers. He insinuated that a former inspector general might be involved.
Such claims have generated intense discussion and concern, notably among the public and NGOs, who are supportive of the inspector general’s effort. There are calls for the government to extend the service of Hamid to allow him to complete his mission to eradicate corruption within the force.
However, voices of support seem muted among government officials. Ministers have themselves not shown any concern, which is unexpected of a government and a nation that had once upon a time been dubbed an Asian Tiger, aspiring to be a developed nation alongside our southern neighbour, Singapore.
Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index has fallen far behind Singapore and Brunei and is likely to fall further if our government takes a back-seat attitude towards corruption, especially among the security-related agencies of government.
The public is naturally concerned if the incoming inspector general will continue Hamid’s unfinished work, ie at settling the core issue of corruption, notably among senior officers of the force.
There is a public sense of scepticism, but Patriot is confident the new inspector general will continue with the good work of his predecessor.
The public wants to see a police force rid of officers linked to underworld criminals. The public do not want to see retired senior officers continue to exert influence to solicit money from the underworld through serving officers.
One recalls the episode regarding the postings of officers authorised by Hamid prior to his going on leave, but these were deferred for implementation by the deputy inspector general, purportedly on instruction from the minister.
This has cast a negative light of the deputy inspector general. The least he could have done was to consult the inspector general before issuing the deferment letter.
Patriot is hopeful the new leadership of the police force will be conscientious of the public aspirations and will have constant observation to see that the force remains in high esteem.
The people hope more officers like Hamid will emerge. He will leave an indelible mark in the annals of the Malaysian police force as a ferocious fighter of corruption.
Members of Patriot bid farewell and stand in salute to Hamid Bador.
Retired Brigadier-General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)