Ex-Malaysian police chief Hamid says Special Branch head faced pressure to do political bidding

Tan Sri Hamid Bador has continued to attack unnamed politicians for trying to make the force do its political bidding. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tan Sri Hamid Bador, who has just retired as Malaysia's police chief, has continued to attack unnamed politicians for trying to make the force do its political bidding.

Mr Hamid has now claimed in an interview that the refusal by the Special Branch - a unit within police headquarters - to carry out certain orders had led to threats to end the contract of the head of the intelligence unit.

He said in an interview with the Sinar Harian daily newspaper, published on Tuesday (May 4), that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was informed of the Special Branch's discontent at being turned into a political tool.

"The police force was lucky as the Prime Minister understood our situation and ordered the Special Branch to ignore the request and continue with our work," Mr Hamid was reported as saying by the newspaper.

He said the Special Branch head was advised on April 16 to resign with a one-month notice or face the termination of his contract, which was to end only in June.

Mr Hamid said raised the matter with Tan Sri Muhyiddin.

"Thank God, the Prime Minister said again that the Special Branch director should stay on until his contract ends, " said Mr Hamid.

His latest allegations followed his no-holds-barred news conference last week, his last as the Inspector-General of Police, where he said he was frustrated by the alleged interference of Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin in the Police Force Commission (SPP), which oversees the 138,000-strong force.

"Since the beginning, he had insisted on making the decision on who gets appointed.

"It is hard for me as a leader to operate and arrange the deployment of personnel and officers with such intervention," Mr Hamid had said last week, adding that he had raised the matter with Mr Muhyiddin and the Chief Secretary to the Government.

Mr Hamid told Sinar Harian that what the Special Branch went through was not an isolated case.

"It also involved other police departments," said Mr Hamid.

He added that it included requests which had nothing to do with police duties.

"I cannot reveal what the request was but as it was not connected to the duties of the Special Branch or its mandate, but they refused to carry it out," said Mr Hamid.

In his final press conference as IGP, he suggested that the SPP to be chaired by a former judge or non-politician. It is currently chaired by the home minister.

But legal experts have since said that such a suggestion can only be done if the laws on the setting up of the SPP was amended.

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