Police should not kowtow to political leaders, must have courage to say no, says Dr Mahathir

(MMO) – The police should not bow down to the whims and fancies of politicians or leaders in prominent positions, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The MP for Langkawi said Malaysians have it embedded in our culture to give too much respect to officials in high positions, including leaders in the government and will do anything they say even if it’s wrong.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on the recent allegation by former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had been meddling with police affairs by trying to influence the transfers of police officers.

“Even during my time, the police were given the freedom to operate with no interference from politicians. However, the habits of our people are they give too much respect to leaders resulting in them doing things they’re not supposed to just because they were told to do so by a superior.

“It’s not just the police force. Other officers to have been guilty of this and they follow orders just because they came from someone higher up,” said Tun during a live interview on Dialektika TV on Facebook today.

“This is a weakness. When this happens politicians will take advantage of it. They will control the executive powers. While this should never happen it does because our culture is such.”

Last Friday, Abdul Hamid described Hamzah’s interference in police matters as unnecessary and blamed him for the reason behind the existence of different “camps” within the police force.

Abdul Hamid said Hamzah as the president of the Police Force Commission (PFC) insisted on deciding transfers of police officers.

Abdul Hamid said he spoke to Hamzah and prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin about his interference and the role of PFC but nothing was done.

Dr Mahathir said if such a thing occurs again the officers need to have more courage to say no.

“If there are instructions that are bad do not follow them. Politicians should not use the officers to do something that is wrong,” he added.