The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) urges the government to review and improve the process of appointing the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to increase the integrity and maintain the public’s confidence in the IGP’s ability to carry out his duties with integrity, impartiality and fairness. Today, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, the Home Minister announced Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah as the new Inspector-General of Police to replace Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bahador.
BERSIH 2.0 expresses concerns over Hamzah’s conversation with an unknown individual to discuss the candidate for the IGP position. The discussion that was leaked on social media and was admitted by Hamzah (2) himself, among others, mentioned that they need to appoint “our boy” to be the IGP. This is very concerning as the decision should be made by the Police Force Commission based on objective criteria and not whether the person is “our boy” as the IGP must carry out his duties professionally and not taking sides with any party.
The Police Force Commission chaired by Hamzah also must make public the criteria used to appoint IGP in order for public members to evaluate the appointment.
To ensure a more transparent and accountable IGP appointment process, BERSIH 2.0 recommends that the Police Force Commission form an Advisory Assessment Panel that will nominate three candidates to the Police Force Commission. The Commission will then select a candidate and submit his name to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for approval. After confirmation from the PSC, the Police Force Commission will present the selected candidates to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) to be appointed as IGP.
Currently, the IGP appointment process as stated in the Article 140 of the Federal Constitution where the Police Force Commission, chaired by a Federal Minister, will nominate an IGP to be appointed by the YDPA. Although this position is appointed by the YDPA, BERSIH 2.0 is of the view that the appointment process, before the name is submitted to the YDPA for appointment, should be reformed to enhance transparency and integrity of the appointment process.
The process of appointing key government officials such as the Inspector General of Police is very important and must go through the Parliament so that the appointment is truly transparent, accountable, based on merit and not based on the decision of the federal minister alone.
BERSIH 2.0 also proposes the government to enact a Public Appointments and Removal Bill 2021 so that all the process of appointment and dismissal of key public officers can be scrutinised by the people to improve the current appointment process. The involvement of the Parliament is also important in such appointment process, as the role of the Parliament should not be limited to law making only.
BERSIH 2.0 also hopes that the new IGP, Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah will be able to carry out his duties without fear or favour, and truly uphold justice and welfare of the people.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0