New IGP Hamid Bador – man who would take the bullet

Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador

This morning Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is scheduled to preside over Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Fuzi Harun’s handover of duties to Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador at Dewan Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, capping formalities for the minted and much talked about successor.

Later this afternoon, Fuzi will be guest of honour at the force’s traditional Paluan Berundur (Beating The Retreat) ceremony, and tonight the formal-attired Dining Out at Palace of The Golden Horses.

These are events necessary when capping an illustrious career in the force.

In recent months, the man has been whispered about especially over 1MDB-related events and that secondment to the Prime Minister’s Department, purportedly to be put to pasture.

Some may describe Hamid to be media-shy unlike other behind-the-scene operatives who make good copy for front page news for the millions they were paid by the previous administration for intelligence gathering.

Yet, Pak Hamid (as he’s known within the circle) stood his ground, did not go AWOL and come Saturday when the Inspector-General of Police takes office, all that should be water under the bridge.

In retrospect, when Fuzi’s name was bandied about as the possible incoming IGP several years ago, a very senior police officer during a teh-tarik session with squad mates quizzed who Fuzi was as he had been unheard of then.

His name came about soon after he was spotted attending a Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ceramah at a members-only club in Taman Melawati.

Even then nothing much was known about the man except that “dia tu orang Bukit” – to describe Special Branch officers.

Sipping their teh tarik then, all concurred Fuzi must have been so far deep as a ‘backroom boy’ within the intelligence community. They also agreed that his existence then was on a need to know basis!

Such was and such remains the intelligence community at Peace Hill.

Now depending who one speaks too, it would seem Fuzi and Hamid were squad mates when they enlisted. Even such records are collecting dust in some backroom away from prying media eyes.

Those in police circles describe Hamid to be not much of a CID crime buster, or an operational man.

Unassuming and soft spoken he may be, but Hamid is the epitome of an intelligent intelligence officer, one officer quipped.

Risikan and mengumpulkan maklumat A-One…”

Hamid has his finger on the pulse of everything, knows the ground very well, is reputed for his networking skills and uncanny ability to “tepis perhatian” (to shy away from, not shoo away, attention).

One good example is how he “diverted attention” from that purported reported Malaysia-Singapore IS link to the bloody Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka. It still remains an article in some Western media publication.

Hamid has always been and will continue to be a man behind the scenes, except when he handles the microphone during karaoke sessions with fellow officers.

If whispers are anything to go by, the force should brace for some changes, drastic or otherwise is yet to be seen.

Hamid is not going on a witch-hunt but is expected to boost morale and re-engineer the police image in his uncanny stealth-like mode.

Crime and public perception are issues easily tackled, and his concern would be white-collar, cross-border crimes, trafficking, illicit transfer of funds and that ever clear and present danger of terrorism. For him, all are co-related because one funds the other.

He would also look into transfers and promotions, ensuring the right officers are entrusted with the right responsibilities. Not merely moved for the sake of rank upgrade.

The other perennial problem he is expected to address is the failure to attract non-Malays to don the Sang Sangka Biru blue and career prospects of senior non-Malay officers.

Hamid is also known to dish out quotes which are gems, and one such was, “I will take the bullet for the man…”

No one dares speculate who he would have been referring to, but rest assured that as IGP, he will be crooning that evergreen classic ”Stand By Your Man” and sometimes “I Did It My Way….”

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.