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Monday, December 31, 2012

‘Hisham’s liaison officer more powerful than IGP’

MyWatch is claiming that the Home Minister's special liaison officer has powers to bypass the Inspector-General of Police himself.

KUALA LUMPUR: Anti-crime watchdog MyWatch alleged today that a police officer with a rank of deputy commissioner [DCP] appointed by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as his special liaison officer is ‘more powerful’ than the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar himself.

The NGO’s chairman R Sri Sanjeevan claimed that this was because the officer was able to bypass the IGP to give instructions to top officers of the Royal Malaysian Police [PDRM], including state police chiefs, state CID chiefs and district police heads.

Sanjeevan said that never in the history of the police force has a liaison officer held such a high rank of DCP, which is even higher ranked than the prime minister’s aide-de-camp who is only ranked an Assistant Commissioner of Police [ACP].

The home minister’s current liaison officer is identified as DCP Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohamad.

“MyWatch urges the home minister to explain why does he need a PDRM liaison officer in his office with the rank of DCP which is equivalent to state CPO position when all the while it was only a Superintendent [Supt] position.”

Sanjeevan claimed that this “clearly shows that home minister is indeed meddling into PDRM matters without relaying orders directly to the IGP himself”.

“Since the officer advises the home minister, then I think the IGP would have to listen to him as well, right?” he added.

“MyWatch strongly believes that the home minister is having a DCP as PDRM liaison officer… is only because he can give instructions and orders directly to CPOs [state police chiefs], OCCI [state CID chiefs], and OCPD [district police chief]. This is also another form of waste of police resources and shows non-productivity,” he said in a press statement.

Sanjeevan also lamented that complaints to Hishammuddin sent to his Twitter account @HishammuddinH2O were only simply forwarded to Wan Ahmad Najmuddin’s account @tok_we, which he claimed was a “dormant account” that was hardly used.

Transferred for refusing to follow instructions

FMT understands that the liaison officer was previously a position where a Supt was placed at Bukit Aman to coordinate communications between the two agencies, and assist the Home Ministry in monitoring case files and statistics.

A police source said that the previous officer, ranked Supt, was apparently transferred out when he refused to follow instructions from the home minister. Najmuddin, according to the source, was promoted very fast when he replaced his predecessor.

Previously, MyWatch or The Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force, had claimed that it has in its possession evidence that top police officers were involved in criminal activities, including officers that were involved in money laundering, illegal gambling, prostitution, football bookies and have direct links with underworld figures and kingpins.

MyWatch said there there was a case where a top police officer was given an “all-expense paid trip overseas to play golf with an underworld kingpin” as well as one where “one senior police official’s son and daughter is working for a kingpin with special privileges”.

In recent weeks, MyWatch rose to prominence after its patron, the former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan held several press conferences and interviews alleging that politicians have been interfering with police work and that criminal elements have infiltrated the force.

Musa had also pointed out that there may have been cases of abuse of power at the top level when several senior policemen were transferred out for refusing to approve an “unsound” walkie-talkie project.

Musa also labelled Ismail a ‘Yes man’ and had urged the latter to be tough.

Following these disclosures, several quarters have hit back at the former top cop, questioning Musa’s timing and credibility. They also brought up the “copgate” issue where Musa himself was allegedly linked to underworld figures.

Musa’s detractors included Hishammuddin, businessman Robert Phang, former KL CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim, former Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Ramli Yusuff and his lawyer Rosli Dahlan.

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