Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador’s recent revelation of police personnel planning and plotting to have him removed is distressing.
Until then, we have only heard of politicians ganging up to stage a coup or to wrest power.
Now, it looks as if this ‘coup mindset’ has also penetrated the police force.
Imagine, an institution that is charged with the responsibility of ensuring national stability and keeping crime low appears to be plagued with a coup mentality, often ascribed to political parties and politicians.
When you have political-like revolts apparently grinding within the police force, who is there to assure us that the same is not present in other institutions of governance?
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These are no storms in a teacup. The expose is of grave concern for all those who believe in shared responsibility in building this nation. When institutions responsible for good governance and ethical principles of nationhood are not free from such coup plotting, we must admit we are in crisis mode.
After a shocking coup removed a democratically elected government last year, perhaps it would be no surprise if it is proven that politicking has become a weapon of war within institutions.
News reports of a funeral procession with firecrackers bursting sounded strange and even amusing at first.
But when the authorities then confirmed that it related to a “Gang 36”, law-abiding people have something to worry about.
After 60 years of independence, we still have gangs in the country who dare to parade in the streets?
It was a funeral procession bearing the number ’36’ (apparently declaring that the deceased was a Gang 36 member) on the front of the hearse that wound its way through many roads in the city amid loud firecrackers. The deceased gang member was a young lad, mind you.
According to Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, with the arrests of several youths much later after the procession was over, the police do not plan to revive the Special Taskforce for Anti-Vice, Gaming and Gangsterism (Stagg), the Special Task Force on Organised Crime (Stafoc) and the Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (Sting).
Why? I mean none other than the police have confirmed we have such gangs in the country. It is also proven that these gangs seem to be well organised, as seen from the incident reported. Surely, our police intelligence has all the information about them. To announce that there are no plans to revive the special taskforces to rid the country of gangs is not only confusing but worrisome.
We have laws implemented in a blitz with super-heavy fines of up to RM25,000 for ordinary people who commit offences that supposedly have violated established health standard operating procedures.
But known gangs exist who are bold enough to parade with pride their deceased member on the streets.
So, the minister’s statement needs to be queried. Answers must be forthcoming. It appears that gangs continue to exist and still have not been wiped out after six decades of independence. How is this possible?
We need urgent answers. We need immediate directions. We need to be reassured quickly by the home minister, his government and the police. Otherwise, speculation, allegations, fear and fake news about these gangs will thrive.
Calls to clean up police deserve support
Various NGOs have stood up to support the inspector general’s recent expose and determination to clean up the police force.
While the guilty and those abetting or in benefit will be counter-plotting out of sheer survival instinct, many are flabbergasted at the pin-drop silence from several quarters of officialdom, who should have made their stand clear by now.
I would be shocked if any would argue that the inspector general should have followed protocol and established channels and not gone public with his expose. Or if they suggest his revelation would affect national stability and foreign investments in the country.
With just months to go before the top cop’s tenure ends, many ordinary people would vote for him to be reinstated to complete his courageous, unprecedented mission to clean up the nation. That is what a responsible government should do.
The first step to fight corruption is to admit that this key institution needs a thorough clean-up. Anything less – including coming up with slogans and campaigns using public funds – would be a let-down.
In the wake of the inspector general’s commendable expose, there should be an emergency parliamentary sitting to calling for a no-holds-barred action plan to tackle this issue.
Mere veiled promises to look into this will be seen as propaganda to whitewash the truth.