KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor denied that the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the deputy prime minister in 1998 was due to police interference, as alleged by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In an Utusan Malaysia report today, Abdul Rahim called Dr Mahathir’s statement “baffling” as the police have no legal power to sack a politician.
“I don’t know why he said that and what he was thinking. Police do not have any legal power to dismiss anyone,” he told Utusan Malaysia.
Abdul Rahim was referring to a March 12 Sin Chew Daily report in which Dr Mahathir said police had prompted him to sack and arrest Anwar for corrupt practices and sodomy.
In the interview with the Chinese daily, Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying he “had no choice” but to take action against Anwar after police presented all the evidence to him.
Abdul Rahim said the removal of a deputy prime minister from office was a complicated process that requires justification from the prime minister and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent.
“The appointment and dismissal of a deputy prime minister is not like plucking coconuts; it was all proposed by the prime minister at that time.
“The police are only a government department whose powers are subject to the Police Force Commission as stipulated in the Federal Constitution which outlines the duties of the police,” he reportedly said.
Abdul Rahim previously made headlines in 1998 for giving Anwar a black eye when he was in detention at the Bukit Aman headquarters, but issued an apology seven years later.
In return for the apology and an unspecified sum, Anwar dropped a lawsuit against Abdul Rahim alleging he had attacked and assaulted him on the night of September 20, 1998.