Nothing will be done about the police cartel - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Malaysiakini : “The problem
is that in most cases the agencies they go to in order to tell them
about wrongdoing inside or outside the department respond along the
lines of: 'If we did this (the prosecuted police officers), we would
undermine the stability of society.' Or they say, 'We can’t afford a
scandal. It would undermine public confidence in our police.' But what
we’re seeing now is that it already has been undermined.”– Frank Serpico
| Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador, in one of his press
conferences, said that he does not take any public criticism of him
personally. That is good because as the top cop in the country, his
attempts to downplay and handle "in house" the kind of corruption and malfeasance he is talking about is exactly the kind of "blue code of silence" he rails against.
is not for the IGP of this country to “handle” a group of rogue cops
out to topple him and in the process engage in possibly criminal
behaviour. The fact that de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan publicly stated
that these allegations should be handled “in house” is also the kind of
political interference that the IGP has railed against before - but now
seems to think is an acceptable outcome for rogue police officers whom
he claims he wants off the force.
IGP has a record of being tough on corrupt officers and this would be
the ideal opportunity (since he knows their identities and their illicit
activities) to reject that blue wall of silence.
Hamid says he
knows who those “cartel” members are who are out to topple him. Do you
think these "young" police officers do not have the backing of
political power groups? How do they get away with their activities if
not with the collusion of state or federal level power brokers?
has in past pressers made allegations of former senior officers,
including former police chiefs, engaged in acts that destabilise the
integrity of the police force. All this is a matter of public record.
The public has a right to know what exactly is going on and the measures
being taken to correct the systemic dysfunction in the state security
apparatus. Unfortunately, the public knows, nothing will ever come of
these allegations. We have a history of not doing anything and for
handling things "in house".
Who could forget the duelling IGPs fiasco
in 2012? Here we had two senior members of the PDRM exposing the sordid
relationship between the criminal class and the state security
apparatus and I am sure the reason why it got to this state was because
all those issues were handled “in house”.
of addressing the issues and reforming the state security apparatus,
what we had was a political class more interested in hiding behind the
blue wall of silence. Why is that?
Corruption in the state
security apparatus has always been systemic. In 2015, for example, a
Special Branch report concluded that 80 percent
of border security personnel were on the take. The police force has
become a culture of its own succoured by religion, racialism and
handouts, riddled with corruption and sharing a symbiotic relationship
with the criminal underclass of Malaysian society and beholden to
political masters who have always been engaged in protracted internal
Admitting the problem
The current IGP earned a lot of press attention when he warned his lads
not to be involved with gambling syndicates. Hamid correctly points out
the nexus between the state security apparatus and gambling syndicates.
What he leaves out is the political connection. This does not mean the
state security apparatus should not crack down on corrupt politicians,
but the first step is admitting that the state security apparatus has a
Police corruption is not something that exists in a
vacuum. It is an eco-system of political, criminal and commercial
enterprises which sustain a black economy that (unfortunately)
contributes to the development of the country.
Hamid has been candid
about the repercussions by the Najib Abdul Razak regime of his attempts
to investigate the 1MDB and SRC scandals, going so far as to
acknowledge his role in thwarting a key witness in the SRC trial against
Najib and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil's attempt to escape with the aid of kuasa-kuasa tertentu.
am sure there are good cops in Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM). The
irony, of course, is that those good cops may also be part of the system
of low-level corruption, but they carry out their duties in a way which
are beneficial to whichever social strata they engage with. The system
is complicated and it would be simplistic to ignore such realities.
I would argue that reforming the PDRM is more a political problem than
an institutional one. While social activists, former law enforcement
officers and various pressure groups are clamouring for reform, the
people most often standing in their way are not from the PDRM – who do
want reform for various reasons – but political operatives who stand to
benefit from alliances with power groups within the PDRM.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in calling for
a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on this issue, said, "Malaysians
want an open public inquiry, not an internal probe where the public fear
will lead nowhere” - which is axiomatic, but the reality is that there
have already been press reports, exposes and leakages from the state
security apparatus, statements from high-ranking senior officers, RCIs
on corruption within the state security apparatus (Wang Kelian for
And yet the political component (which briefly included
Pakatan Harapan) failed to take action and reassure the public that
even if the state security apparatus was not holding their own
accountable, the political class were acting as a check and balance.
reality is that nothing will come of this latest exposé by the top cop
of the country. The political class has determined that the police will
police their own and the senior cop making these allegations agrees with
this sentiment. What this basically means for the “cartel” members is
that the state has given its blessing to the top cop of the land to
handle the matter as he sees fit and to "control" the cartel by any
Expect a protracted war on social media, the
political chessboard and across police districts as various proxies wage
battles attempting to control or retain the fiefdoms that make up the
state security apparatus.