No more police escorts for 'anti-govt' Mahathir: Malaysia police chief

Malaysian police has decided to withdraw the police outriders privilege for former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Malaysian police has decided to withdraw the police outriders privilege for former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.PHOTO: REUTERS

KOTA KINABALU (The Star/Asia News Network) - Malaysia police will now provide Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with traffic police escorts only upon request for official functions, said the police chief, who blamed the former Prime Minister's "anti-government" activities for the move.

"We will consider traffic police escorts for Tun Mahathir on a case-by-case basis,'' Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

Khalid said he decided to withdraw the police outriders privilege for the former prime minister because he was attending functions that were "anti-government or illegal" such as the Bersih and anti-GST rallies.

"It is my decision to withdraw the outriders as he (Dr Mahathir) was attending illegal functions. It does not make sense as law enforcers to escort someone to an anti-government or an illegal rally.

"But, I did not withdraw his personal bodyguard who is a policeman from the UTK (Unit Tindakan Khas) for his personal safety," Khalid told reporters after presenting medals to 200 policemen who served during Ops Daulat to put down the Sulu intrusion at Lahad Datu in 2013.

"Why should we provide traffic police escort to a person who is going to functions which are against the law,'' he said.

Khalid said Dr Mahathir could write to him for outriders for all official government functions .

"I hope Tun Mahathir understand our position on the matter,'' he added.

Khalid warned others not to provide escort services to the former premier as they were not trained and would be endangering their own lives and those of other road users.

"I know some people are saying they want to provide traffic escort services. We will take action against such people who want to become outriders,'' he said adding that there were sufficient laws, including the Road Transport Act, that can be used against them.

He said motorists need not follow the "orders" of the private escorts who were usually riding the big bikes.