Axed over 1MDB outburst, former Special Branch No. 2 tipped to head department

G. Prakash And Thasha Jayamanogaran
Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador leaves after meeting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on May 15, 2018. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, May 20 — A familiar face, one who was previously described as an “enemy of the state” by his peers, could be making a comeback to take the position of Bukit Aman’s Special Branch director on Tuesday. 

Former Special Branch deputy director Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador, known for his criticism of the previous government’s handling of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigations, is expected to take over from current federal Special Branch director Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff.

Malay Mail learnt that Abdul Hamid will replace Mohd Mokhtar whose contract ends in September, on Tuesday morning.

However, it is still unclear where Mohd Mokhtar will be moved.

Special Branch director Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff’s contract was scheduled to end in September. — Bernama pic

On August 18, 2015, Abdul Hamid was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department after defending Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had then turned into a vocal critic of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He went on leave before finally deciding to reject the posting to the Prime Minister’s Department.

Later, Abdul Hamid came out and revealed that his transfer instruction came following his demands for the 1MDB probe to be conducted professionally and transparently.

In a press conference after he was transferred, Abdul Hamid said he will not back down from criticising the government’s handling of 1MDB despite being called an “enemy of the state”.

He said his decision to openly hit out at the government’s investigation into the troubled state investment firm was difficult, but not one he regretted.

Abdul Hamid also revealed that, under instructions, he had met Dr Mahathir four times in 2014 and 2015 to try and convince the latter to tone down his attacks on Najib.

He said he met Dr Mahathir to get his views on certain things and also to get his consent to not do “some things”.

The former police intelligence officer also said he lost many friends through his actions, but could not have kept quiet as his conscience would not have allowed him any peace in later life.