Ex-senior cops association wants clarification over former IGP Hanif Omar’s final resting place

The final resting place of former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar continues to be a talking point, with the Retired Senior Police Officers’ Association (RESPA) asking for the matter to be clarified.

Its president, Datuk Meor Chek Hussien Mahayuddin, said the association was shocked when it was announced that Hanif, who passed away on April 20, would be buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery, instead of the Heroes’ Mausoleum at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur, purportedly at the family’s request.

Hanif’s son, Capt (Rtd) Abdul Rahmat Omar,  issued a statement on April 22, denying claims that it was the family that had asked for Hanif’s final resting place be changed to the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery, 13km away.

Earlier, the current IGP, Tan Sri Razarudin Husain, had said that Hanif would be accorded honours and be buried at the Heroes’ Mausoleum.

On April 23, Twentytwo13 managing editor Pearl Lee asked if the episode was deliberate or a sad case of miscommunication.

Hanif was appointed IGP on June 8, 1974, at the age of 35, and was the nation’s top cop for 20 years until his retirement on Jan 15, 1994.

“He did an excellent job, but there was no recognition by the country. That’s how we feel,” Meor Chek Hussien, 78, told Twentytwo13 this evening.

“We were his ‘anak buah’ (his subordinates). I worked under him for 20 years,” added Meor Chek Hussien, who was one of the pioneer officers of the elite Special Actions Unit (Unit Tindak Khas) that was set up by Hanif.

“You saw the statement by his son … first the family was told ‘boleh’ (that Hanif would be buried at the Heroes’ Mausoleum), and then, he’s not.

“We’ve issued a statement. We don’t want to point the finger at anyone but I feel sad that our hero is treated like this, as if he did nothing for the country, when he sacrificed a lot for this nation.”

In a statement issued this evening, Meor Chek Hussien, who retired in 2001 as Kuala Lumpur police chief, said the country, especially the Royal Malaysia Police, lost an extraordinary statesman, last Saturday.

“For many of us, his legacy stopped abruptly, and all that is left are his successes, achievements, excellent leadership, wisdom, and historic moments. He was a legend in his own right,” the statement read.

“RESPA is shocked when Hanif’s son, Capt (R) Mohammed Rahmat, denied claims that it was the family that had wanted the late Tun to be buried at Bukit Kiara, when they were told earlier that he would be laid to rest, with honours, at the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes’ Mausoleum) at Masjid Negara.”

The family was later informed by the mosque’s authorities that the burial would instead be at Bukit Kiara, after the full rites and prayers were carried out at Masjid Negara.

“There is something amiss here, and RESPA would like this to be cleared up by the parties responsible.”

Meor Chek Hussien hopes the concerned parties will clarify the matter soon.

Meor Chek Hussien said that the episode was “not a simple matter” as it involved not only the dignity, pride, and honour of the Royal Malaysia Police, but the entire security and defence forces fraternity in the country.

“The late Tun served the nation with the highest distinction and honour, through some of the most challenging upheavals faced by the country, from the threat of the communist insurgency, to communal riots, to religious extremism, terrorism, and numerous other internal and external threats. He faced these challenges head-on, with grit, determination, and leadership. He made this country safe.”

Meor Chek Hussien added that RESPA, representing some 2,500 senior retired cops, felt that those who served the country with distinction and honour must be given the proper recognition.

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