Home Civil Society Voices Quest for truth can restore image of police

Quest for truth can restore image of police

The truth about the police force cannot be hidden from the public eye for long

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Patriot takes serious inventory of the developments that are casting a cloud over the image and reputation of our Malaysian police force – which also demotivate sincere cops while emboldening any ‘bad apple cartels’ within the force.

We refer specifically to the first shocking revelation made by then outgoing inspector general of police Hamid Bador in March-April 2021 on the existence of a cartel within the police force and a statement issued by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) on 28 February 2022.

Patriot’s membership comprises retired uniformed officers from the military, navy, air force and the police. We find it incredibly hard to believe the recent EAIC statement declaring that there was no evidence of a ‘cop cartel’ existing in the police force.

The image and reputation of the police force is made most vulnerable and, since the matter at hand is of growing public interest, Patriot demands transparency, accountability and nothing less than the truth.

Only truth can help restore the badly tarnished image of the police force and rebuild the morale and conviction among our men and women in blue, who are caught in this battle between the devil and the deep blue sea battle.

We need will, commitment and courage – from the custodians, politicians and those empowered – to make Malaysia a better nation to go after the truth and to speak the truth even if hurts deeply. Truth has to be the pillar of nationhood if we are serious about serving the nation, King and citizens.

It is disturbing to learn that the signed statement from EAIC chairman Sidek Hassan, his deputy and five commissioners, comes after Hamid responded by stating on 23 Februay: “He doesn’t really know how the system works … so sad. A retired soul tells no lies.”

When the EAIC publicly declares that “the commission could not verify the existence of such a cartel”, it deems the former inspector general of police to have lied – does it not?

Patriot takes a very serious view of such statements and in defence of truth. Such statements not only deeply hurt us as retired cops, with many of us having served in senior positions, but also are detrimental to the entire force and the nation.

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The public are analysing and viral sharing the statements being made by the EAIC, whose findings seemingly are based on witness testimony and documents and coming nine months after the investigation was launched last May.

Among the concerns being raised are that for Sidek to publicly state (as reported in the media) that the ex-inspector general has “lost his right to comment on the matter” is most outrageous. As citizens, when do we lose our right to point out what is right and wrong in our country?

And by further stating that the former inspector general “never raised the issue in meetings involving directors of Bukit Aman’s various departments”, not only has the EAIC slandered the former top cop but has also hurt the entire police force – including those of us who have retired from the forces.

Patriot demands answers, as not only is the police force painted in bad light, but even the legitimacy or the competency of the EAIC is being cast under a long shadow of disgrace.

As retired security officers who served the nation with our life and limb, and sacrificed family and loved ones by placing duty above self, we demand a thorough clean-up. There should be no more room for cover-ups, irrespective of who or what power the person(s) wields in this country.

Truth cannot be hidden from the public eye for long. Lest anyone forget, the very retired good cops will confide the truth over time, and the resultant shame will cost the nation too heavy a price to pay.

This must dawn upon the leaders and all those in power if they are serious about the power of good cops and the dangers rooting because of self-serving political agendas.

It is time to protect, nurture and promote the good name, integrity and honour of all institutions – including the EAIC – with truth as the benchmark.

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History records that Hamid was perhaps the first inspector general ever to come forward to openly declare the existence of a cartel. In doing so, he affirmed his determination to attempt and do something to weed out the bad and dangerous spikes within the force. It was a formidable attempt indeed, knowing the price that comes with it in this country.

When Hamid took over the job as top cop, we are certain he knew he was in for a sticky wicket. The powerful cartel certainly has the backup of the rich and the powerful within the underworld and criminal network. One need not be a Harvard graduate to understand this problem, which exists in many countries.

Perhaps the ‘forces that be’ should provide a guarantee, and we are certain that many retired senior cops will share volumes of testimony of the fight of bad cops overwhelming the good cops prevailing in the country.

Perhaps the EAIC could explain how promotions, transfers, cold-storage tactics, etc are related with exposes made by law-abiding cops on the beat wanting to live their dream of serving the nation. Let us get real for once.

Will the EAIC deny what is a known fact within the forces – that to get into the good books of your superiors and to be “one of them”,you must at the expense of principles and integrity blindly become subservient to their orders and the orders of hidden hands above them?

Will the EAIC deny the fact that there are many who joined the forces with idealistic ambitions to serve walking tall, only to soon be overwhelmed by the disillusionments and disappointments that tarnish the badge that good cops wear?

For those of us who wanted to follow the straight and narrow path, we had to endure the continuous barrage of challenges that put our integrity to the test. We also had to endure psychologically testing and draining work environments for not being ‘one of them’.

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The truth is, many got out of this misery by getting transferred to another department either on their own request or on the recommendation of their superiors.

Hamid is not wrong in challenging the EAIC by stating that the EAIC does not understand the system. Cops can give voluminous lessons – provided they will not be eventually victimised. That is the sealing truth to this yes and no about the existence of cartels in the force.

However, any investigative body set up to correct the wrongs must have investigative skills, expertise and knowledge of the inner workings of the police force to be able to deal with the diagnostic and remedial challenges of such a deep-rooted problem.

Patriotism loses it meaning and purpose in nation building if we are unable to bring the truth into the open and fix the country right with courage and commitment.

No amount of political correctness, pretensions, window dressing or even threats and intimidations can heal our struggling nation, where integrity, honour and the good name of the country has been made vulnerable in the eyes of the watching world.

Certainly, there still are many within the corridors of power and control, including the vanguard institutions and the EAIC, who want our nation to succeed for all the right reasons. Patriot pledges its support to all such men and women who defend our nation.

Perhaps the smart and right approach is first to ensure that the commission deemed as totally independent and made answerable to a parliamentary committee. It cannot be under the dictates of any politician who serves as a presiding minister of the police force.

This could be the way forward in restoring the dignity of the long-suffering image of the force, motivating those loyal and dedicated officers and personnel who are still serving, and instilling a sense of pride in those who are already retired.

Dato’ Zulkifli Mohamed, a retired deputy commissioner of police, is deputy president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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