KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was appointed Malaysia's new police chief effective on Monday (Sept 4), replacing retiring Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The appointment of the 58-year-old former Special Branch director came as a surprise after speculation by local media that deputy IGP Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim would be taking over the role.
Even so, Mr Mohamad Fuzi, had also been seen as one of the favourites to replace Mr Khalid due to his vast experience on counter-terrorism issues.
"I would like to thank the top leadership for giving me the opportunity and trust," he said at the handing over ceremony, which was held at the police training centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Noor Rashid, 59, remains as the deputy. He is set to retire in March.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff will be taking over as Special Branch director. Prior to the appointment, Mr Mohd Mokhtar was the national criminal investigation department chief.
Mr Mohamad Fuzi was the Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) director before it was disbanded.
He said tackling the threat of terrorism will be a priority for his administration, adding that 343 new posts have been created to boost the counter-terrorism unit as part of efforts to eradicate militancy.
"The Counter Terrorism Division will be boosted with the additional personnel. Our priority is to curb the threat of terrorism – foreign or domestic," he told his first press conference.
Mr Mohamad Fuzi had also served as the acting Deputy Inspector General for several months after Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Zinin retired on Sept 5, 2014.
He has two years before reaching the mandatory retirement age.
He holds a masters degree from University Malaya and a bachelor from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Antropology and Sociology.
Mr Khalid was appointed as the 10th IGP, succeeding Tan Sri Ismail Omar, on May 17, 2013.