The day the IGP refused a hefty RM3m ‘ang-pow’

Abdul Hamid Bador

Had Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador lacked scruples, dignity, honour and pride, he would have bagged an additional RM3.7 million since assuming the all-powerful office of the nation’s top cop early May.

This would be in addition to his salary and allowances. So goes the narration!

In the week that Abdul Hamid came to be the good news copy flavour of the mainstream media, it seems the true-blue essence of the man and principles he lives by still remain “rahsia besar” (a big secret).

If intelligence was anything to go by, when Abdul Hamid’s name was bandied about as a strong contender for the IGP’s position, an emissary made an undignified offer of a RM3 million ang-pow, to be followed up with RM350,000 each month.

Whether corporate or underworld doesn’t matter. The fact remains such an approach was made!

Abdul Hamid came clean and briefed his superior on the offer and the rest is history. What of the emissary is something left to Abdul Hamid to disclose when he is comfortable to do so.

The existence of such emissaries and their “trying their luck antics” is nothing new. There have been numerous similar instances. Some made the news while many others were simply shrugged off.

Before his retirement, former Deputy IGP Tan Sri Jamil Johari disclosed how a cash-filled envelope was left on his coffee table at his home after a friend called on him. Having ascertained that it did not belong to any from his family, Jamil informed the duty officer at Petaling Jaya police station of the find.

There was also (then) ASP R. Chelvam, the former senior investigating officer at Sentul police headquarters, in the course of investigating the recovery of a stolen car, stumbled onto a credit card cloning syndicate. His investigation led his team to a home in Pandan Indah, Ampang, where they seized numerous cloned credit cards “issued” by local and foreign banks.

The suspect offered the officer RM500,000, saying he would return with more cash for the raiding team to share. The suspect never made that dash to freedom. Chelvam earned the recognition of then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and a commendation letter.

These two instances are just the tip of the iceberg of how bribes were turned down.

“If were we to talk about all the times someone offered a bribe, as policemen we wouldn’t have time to fight crime,” a former chief police officer quipped.

Today, Abdul Hamid is on that crusade to turn over some of his recalcitrant men, and their failure to heed advice would prove to be their folly.

A man of honour should never forget what he is, because he sees what others are.

The recent transfers and promotions of senior officers seem to be a clear indication that Abdul Hamid wants the right men to hold office — with integrity and pride.

These include Datuk Huzir Mohamed, Datuk Sri Zakaria Ahmad, Datuk Mohamad Roze Shaari, Datuk Mohd Azlee Abdullah, Assistant Commissioner Gan Tack Guan, ACP Zulfikar Ghazali, ACP Miy a/l Emong and ACP Hamzah Buman.

The most recent was Johor Chief Police Officer Datuk Khalil Kader promoted to helm the Narcotics Department at Bukit Aman.

In days to come, the reminder of the ills of seeking ang-pows, especially from gaming syndicates, would be repeated.

The slogan “rasuah di hina, maruah di bina” strategically brightens up the Kuala Lumpur City Hall building after dusk for all to see from Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Kinabalu, Jalan Parlimen and even the old tower block on Bukit Aman.

KL City Hall building
The LED screen at City Hall building. Image: Instagram (@manzz_ashburn)

Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Latheefa Koya’s courtesy call on Abdul Hamid in recent days seems indicative that both are on the same page in inculcating the right thinking for the uniformed corps.

Yet, all this is not possible without cooperation from the public. They should simply stop offering that bribe!

Main image by Royal Malaysia Police.