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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 18th July 2009: 

Najib should emulate his father Tun Razak and appoint a new IGP still with four or five years of service brimming with ideas to plan out and implement police reforms instead of current practice of appointing senior police officers left with one or two years’ service more interested about post-retirement arrangements

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should start the new practice of appointing a new Inspector-General of Police still with four or five years of service brimming with ideas to plan out and implement police reforms instead of the current practice of appointing senior police officers left with one or two years’ service more interested about post-retirement arrangements.

This issue becomes very pertinent at a time when the Prime Minister must appoint a new IGP or give Tan Sri Musa Hassan a second extension as IGP.

Musa’s Hassan further extension as IGP is highly objectionable for two reasons:

Firstly, it makes nonsense of Najib’s pledge of “People First. Performance Now” and his commitment that his administration gives top priority to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), when Musa’s KPIs as IGP in the past three years are one of dismal failure.

If proof is needed, just look at the crime situation today as compared to the scenario and targets worked out by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2005.

In fact, under Musa, Malaysians are even more unsafe from street crimes now than when he became IGP in September5 2006. Can Musa or the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein prove me wrong.

I am prepared to have a public debate with Musa or Hishammuddin to substantiate my statement that Musa had failed as IGP as he flopped badly in all the three core functions highlighted by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry as most important – to keep crime low, to eradicate corruption and to protect human rights.

Secondly, the re-appointment of Musa for another term of IGP cast an adverse aspersion on all the senior police officers, as if there is not a single one out of the eight top police officers occupying key police positions below the post of IGP who are qualified or competent enough to become the new IGP to provide a new police leadership and culture to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years.

According to the police website, these eight top police officers are:

  • Tan Sri Ismail bin Hj. Omar (Deputy Inspektor General, Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara)

  • CP Dato’ Zul Hasnan Najib bin Baharudin (Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Narkotik)

  • CP Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri bin Zinin (Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah)

  • CP Dato’ Abdul Razak bin Bokhari (Pengarah Jabatan Pengurusan)

  • CP Datuk Seri Ramli bin Shaari (Pengarah Cawangan Khas)

  • CP Dato’ Hussin bin Hj. Ismail (Pengarah Jabatan KDN/KA)

  • CP Dato’ Koh Hong Sun (Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil)

  • CP Dato’ Mashuri bin Zainal (Pengarah Jabatan Logistik)

  • CP Dato’ Mohamad Fuzi bin Harun [Pengarah Pasukan Petugas Khas (Operasi/Counter Terrorism)]

Najib should be bold to do what is right for the country. Just emulate his father, second Prime Minister Tun Razak and do he would have done in the circumstances.

Tun Razak would never have entertained the notion of extending the services of IGPs for Tengku Razaleigh is right when he criticised the deplorable practice of “extensions becoming routine”.

In his blog, Razaleigh wrote:

Of late there has been a tendency for the Government to routinely extend and re-extend the service of top civil servants scheduled for retirement.

Extension of service is meant be an extraordinary measure. It is in danger of becoming the norm. This is bad practice.

Among the reasons which Razaleigh had rightly argued against such extensions are:

1. It politicizes the leadership of a service that has its own processes and criteria for promotion. Those extended become, in effect, political appointees with rather cosy relations with the political bosses who determine these extensions.

2. Public servants owe their allegiance to King and country, not to politicians. It is by an accumulation of bad practices like this that the once independent ethos of the civil service has been eroded.

3. It is highly disruptive in a system that promotes by seniority. Promotions are log-jammed all the way down the line. People are not developed on schedule, and their pay and prospects are retarded. Those near retirement lose out on seniority and the pension that they would otherwise have retired with. An extension for one favoured official means a promotion freeze, with all the career frustration this entails, for hundreds of others down the line.

4. It contradicts our talk of developing talent. It cannot be that no replacement good enough could be found from among the swollen ranks awaiting promotion.

5. We are on our way to creating cults of personality in a service that used to pride itself on impersonal professionalism. Feudal expectations of indefinite incumbency, justified by manufactured media approval, are being imported from the Executive into the civil service. There is a reason why bureaucrats are rotated regularly. Since Ancient China people have understood that officials too long incumbent are tempted to carve out empires for themselves.

In fact, Tun Razak was the one who appointed the youngest and the most famous IGP in the nation’s history, Tun Hanif Omar who was appointed IGP at the age of 35 in June 1974 and went on to serve with distinction for two decades until his retirement in January 1994. May be 20 years is too long for anyone to become an IGP, but one year or two years as IGP are downright ridiculous!

Up to now, Hishammuddin who is Chairman of the Police Force Commission in his capacity as Home Minister is unable to explain why he and the Police Force Commission supports Musa for another term as IGP when his term expires in September.

Can Hishammuddin answer:

  • When did the Police Force Commission meet and endorsed Musa’s extension as IGP.

  • What were the reasons for the Police Force Commission’s decision to back Musa’s extension as IGP, are they in line with the “People First. Performance Now” motto of the Prime Minister, could these reasons be made public and can they withstand public scrutiny?

  • How can the Police Force Commission recommend the extension of Musa’s service as IGP when Musa is himself a member of the Commission?

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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