KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador today said that Special Branch (SB) officers are meant to safeguard the security, irregardless of political affiliations after some of them were recently barred from Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) press conferences in Sabah.
“The police officers, who were there on duty, are not enemies of any party.
“The objective of their duties, whether they are clad in a uniform or plain-clothed, is to ensure the peace and security of a premises or event,” Abdul Hamid told Malaysiakini.
Warisan vice-president Datuk Junz Wong had yesterday reportedly told online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) that SB personnel should identify themselves at the party’s press conferences.
“If they want to request for it (entry to the events), they should identify themselves and not pretend to be reporters,” Wong reportedly said.
An SB officer was quoted in the FMT article as saying that he and his colleagues had been barred numerous times from Warisan press conferences, including events that featured Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Abdul Hamid, who had previously held the position of SB director, said officers from the department should be seen and treated as friends of the public unless they break the law.
He said there could have been a miscommunication between the SB and event organisers.
Among the roles of a SB department is ensuring the security of ministers and officials during government events.