Special Branch used as political tool because its directors allowed it, claims ex-IGP

Former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan was quoted as saying that its directors often executed orders from politicians by bypassing protocol. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan was quoted as saying that its directors often executed orders from politicians by bypassing protocol. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Former inspector-general of police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan has blamed political interference in the force on complicit senior police officers who let key divisions be used for personal objectives, Sinar Harian reported today.

Pointing to the Special Branch, the force’s intelligence department, Musa was quoted as saying that its directors often executed orders from politicians by bypassing protocol.

“Typically ministers cannot use police institutions (Special Branch) or any departments for personal interests. It happens if its directors allow it,” he told the Malay tabloid.

“If the director of that department had given the order without the knowledge of the IGP that is illegal. Every step of an operation must be notified to and have the consent of the IGP,” he added.

The most recent former IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador alleged last week that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had used his position to dictate who would lead the Special Branch.

Hamid claimed Hamzah had wanted to use the division for his own political gains, and that the home minister had also been meddling with some of its operations, although he gave no details.

Shortly after, Musa said publicly that political interference in the force had happened even during his tenure. He detailed examples of alleged political meddling that happened in the interview with Sinar Harian, and claimed to have objected to them.

“Among the political interference that took place was the dissolution of the marine division on the excuse that the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency had already existed,” he was quoted as saying.

“Other than that is the (instruction to) transfer anti-narcotic enforcement power to the National Anti-Drugs Agency, but I disallowed it. In general, there were many instructions that were illegal that I firmly opposed,” he added.

Hamid’s revelation came amid his hastened replacement. He was the Special Branch director during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s tenure as prime minister.

He was believed to have been replaced for his involvement in the investigation into the 1MDB scandal against the latter, but later reinstalled as IGP by the Pakatan Harapan government.

In his outgoing press conference as police chief, he made various allegations against the sitting government, including that he would reveal the name of a prominent figure with a “Datuk Seri” title for alleged abuse of power.

In a brief statement to Astro Awani, Hamid alleged that the person abused his power by using a police department, believed to be the Special Branch, for his own political purposes.

However, Hamid did not specify when the disclosure would be made.

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