Cutting through the web of deceit in the police force

By Julian Tan


KUDOS to the police for going after their own who were suspected to be linked to the notorious Nicky Gang. Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) staffs and 10 cops have been swooped up for being suspected informers to the syndicate involved in money-laundering, money-game and a host of other illegal activities.

That Nicky Gang, led by fugitive businessman Nicky Liow, had lined the pockets of errant law enforcement officers should come as no surprise. For years, Liow, who was stripped off his “Datuk Seri” title by the Pahang palace recently, had operated with clockwork efficiency, raking in millions in ill-gotten gains.

This could not have been possible if he and his gang members did not receive timely tip-offs and classified intelligence that kept him a few paces ahead of the authorities in the cat-and-mouse game.

In fact, Liow, 33, took off and is now on the Interpol wanted list after he was alerted by his informers of an impending raid.

The question is for how long has this been going on and how high up does the web of deceit lead to? Recently, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) revealed that there have been attempts by his own subordinates to oust him and install a top cop who is more amenable to the ways of crooks like Liow.

What assurance do we have that the top brass in the force are not under the thumbs of the crooks against whom the former had sworn to protect and defend the people and the nation from?

If we cripple the Nicky Gang, won’t another similar criminal network sprout overnight, some of whom wear the police uniform to work, adorned with shiny pips reserved only for senior cops?

A shakeup in the force cannot happen unless there’s systemic change. One way is to revive the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in its original proposed form.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) when tabling the IPCMC Act in 2019, did not go far enough. Subsequently, the PH Government scrapped IPCMC and replaced it with the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC).

Overall, the basic flaw of the institution is this: there is a need for a truly independent oversight body to look into alleged wrongdoings by those entrusted to keep the law.

For years, the rank-and-file in the force have resisted the idea that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will be subject to oversight from an external party, especially if they are civilians.

But the truth is that it is the only way to restore an armed body riddled with allegations like corruption, death in custody and unprofessional conduct perpetrated by a handful of errant personnel.

Staffing is also an area that requires a structural overhaul, where only the best can rise up the ranks, not those with connections. Early this month, the transfer of 71 senior policemen nationwide was put on hold due to political interference. Speculations were rife that this has got to do with the rift between IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and his boss Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

So long as politicians continue to meddle in the administrative affairs of the country’s largest law enforcement agency, PDRM will be unable to shed its image of being subservient to the political elites, not the people’s interests. – April 30, 2021


Julian Tan is a FocusM editorial contributor.

The views expressed here are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Focus Malaysia.


Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE