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Cabinet should find out why
ACA had failed to nab for corruption a single one of the 1,400 senior
police officers “who could be arrested without further investigation
strictly based on the basis of their lifestyles” despite the Prime
Minister’s top priority to eradicate corruption in the past 45 months
(Parliament, Tuesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should table the Sunday Star article of the country’s most famous Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, “The Fence that Eats the Rice” excoriating the underperformance and failures of the three “vital institutions” of the state, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.
In his column, Hanif said he had briefed the Police Royal Commission, of which he was Deputy Chairman, “that police corruption was so extensive that a very senior ACA officer had confided in me and another top retired police officer that 40% of the senior officers could be arrested without further investigations – strictly on the basis of their lifestyles”.
Hanif’s fear that the PDRM would suffer great damage in a campaign to “effectively stamp out corruption” has proved to be completely misplaced, as the culture of impunity for the corrupt among the high and mighty continued to reign supreme and there was not a single one of the 1,400 senior police officers “who could be arrested without further investigation strictly based on the basis of their lifestyles” who had been arrested and prosecuted since the publication of the Royal Police Commission Report in May 2005.
The Royal Police Commission reported that the PDRM had an establishment of 90,256 police personnel in 2004, and there would be a total of 3,502 senior police officers for all ranks above the inspector, viz:
SAC I 27
SAC II 56
If “40% of the senior officers could be arrested without further investigations – strictly on the basis of their lifestyles”, we are talking about a staggering figure of 1,400 out of the 3,502 senior police officers from the rank of Assistant Superintendent to Inspector-General of Police.
Is the Cabinet tomorrow prepared to demand explanation from the ACA why it had failed to nab for corruption a single one of the 1,400 senior police officers “who could be arrested without further investigation strictly based on the basis of their lifestyles” despite the Prime Minister’s top priority to eradicate corruption in the past 45 months?
Or will Cabinet Ministers be mortally frightened to ask the ACA such a question, for fear that the same indictment could be applied to the Cabinet - that many of them could be arrested without further investigations, strictly on the basis of their lifestyles?
The Cabinet would have failed in its duties if it shied away completely from Hanif’s indictment of the three “vital institutions” in his Sunday Star column, for the final responsibility for the unchecked rot in the police, the ACA and the AG’s Chambers must finally be borne by the Cabinet under our system of Cabinet government.
If the Cabinet is patriotic, it cannot abdicate from its responsibility tomorrow to do what is right and proper for the country in the midst of celebrating the 50th Merdeka anniversary, and all the Ministers cannot find refuge in the role of the traditional three monkeys of having eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouth the speaks not.
The right, proper and patriotic thing for the Cabinet to do tomorrow is for it to make two policy decisions which will make the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations really historic, meaningful and memorable to all Malaysians – to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Police Royal Commission and to make the ACA fully independent from the Prime Minister’s Department, answerable only to Parliament and not beholden to the political masters of the day.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity will be holding public hearings to get public feedback on their views and concerns about corruption and the National Integrity Plan in Ipoh tomorrow (Perak State Assembly 10 am) and in Alor Star on Thursday (Kedah State Assembly 10 am) – which are opportunities for the Malaysian public to come forward to speak their minds on the problems and challenges of corruption and integrity in Malaysia 50 years after Merdeka.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman