IGP to hold senior officers accountable when subordinates break the law

Thasha Jayamanogaran
During a recent interview with the Malay Mail, IGP Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the move to hold a superior officer accountable even when his lower-ranked officer is the one found guilty of a crime is the most effective way to keep his men in check. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22  —  Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said he has no choice but to introduce “supervisory accountability” in an effort to weed out corrupt cops from the police force, although it may prove to be an unpopular move.

During a recent interview with Malay Mail, Abdul Hamid said the move — to hold a superior officer accountable even when his lower-ranked officer is the one found guilty of a crime — is the most effective way to keep his men in check. 

“If a constable has been found to be guilty of breaking the law, it is not only him who will be punished but also his supervisors such as his corporal or sergeant,” he told Malay Mail

“The corporals and sergeants are much more experienced and they should be the ones guiding the constables so if they fail to do that, I’m going to penalise them. 

“For instance, cases involving a few men on the ground being hooked to drugs, how is it that the supervisors failed to detect this, the cop has been on drugs for years but he has not been taken out, so what was the supervisor doing?” Abdul Hamid asked. 

He said this will be the reason why he has decided that from now on, the supervisors will also be penalised for failing to detect when his men are being on the wrong side of the law. 

“This is the only way we can effectively improve police delivery service,” he said. 

Abdul Hamid said he is aware that such a move will not be popular among his men. 

“The job of the IGP is not really about being popular, it’s not about having four stars on your shoulders, or riding in a car with an outrider in front of you or being in the main table at events or functions,” he said. 

Abdul Hamid said he has had sleepless nights thinking about some of his men who had committed crime. 

“There was a recent case which was reported to me whereby an investigating officer had duplicated the signature of a deputy public prosecutor in a document. That is a crime. Can you imagine a young inspector indulging in such a heinous act? 

“We have taken stern action against the inspector and he will be charged in court. I’m not going to cover this matter just because I don’t want the image of the police to be battered. I’m going to be very transparent about it,” he said. 

Abdul Hamid said police should never try to cover up any cases and that is the message that he has sent out to his head of departments and all directors under him. 

“We can never give an excuse whenever there is a cop involved in a crime by just saying this is an isolated case. We have to admit it, only then can we be effective in our effort to overcome such problems. 

“We cannot be in denial mode forever and this is what I tell my directors, I tell them ... don’t be shy and be brave in facing the public and tell them as it is,” he said. 

Abdul Hamid said so far, he is satisfied with the engagement with his directors as they are all on the same page, especially on integrity. 

“In the past, people may have heard that to please the IGP they needed to do something. I have discarded that culture; I have made it clear that I don’t have to be pampered or be flushed with money. 

“We just need to do our job with integrity. We need to enjoy being a police officer and at the end of the day when we retire we feel good that we have helped so many people,” he said. 

Abdul Hamid said so far there have been two incidents where certain shady characters from the underworld had used middle-men and offered cash to him for favours.

“I told them you face the risk of being arrested and dealt with them accordingly, I don’t need all this. Don’t even think or dream you can get into me by paying all this money. I live life in a simple way and I need to show a good example to my men. 

“When I go for my visits for dinners, I don’t need the most expensive lobster in town, I don’t really care about all that, I eat in a simple mamak restaurant, simple food like tom yam would do,” he said.

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