KLANG: No major reshuffle is expected within the police force following the change in government, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pic).
“It is not a force for political parties and such.
“It will remain doing its duty as outlined by laws such as the Police Act, as well as the Federal Constitution,” he said after attending the signing of a strategic cooperation declaration with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) at the Marine Police Region 1 Base at Port Klang here on Thursday (March 5).
Following the change in government, there has been speculation that the top brass in the police, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, and Election Commission would see leadership change or major reshuffles.
Hamid said just like other departments in government, the force would continue to function and play its role so there was no question of reshuffles.
“That being said, many senior officers will retire this year so there may be changes due to this; otherwise, I do not see any need for it until or unless the government says so.
“For the time being, we will just continue whatever we have (been doing) right now,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of action being taken against demonstrators, Hamid said the police respected democracy and the provisions in the Constitution on citizens’ rights to exercise freedom of expression, speech and assembly.
“We do respect these rights, but at the same time, Parliament passed a law called the Peaceful Assembly Act, and one of the provisions of the act is that if one wants to gather, they are required to give notice to the police.
“The reason for the notice is so that we can allocate personnel to be on duty to maintain security and public order,” he said, adding that people must remember that while someone wanted to promote an ideology or cause, there would most likely be another party who does not like it.
He said the police were not trying to stifle the rights of the people.
“We send our personnel to these gatherings to ensure the demonstrators get to exercise their rights without obstruction.
“All we require is notice. It used to be within a two-week period and even that has been shortened to just five days now.
“On the issue of this recent demonstration, there were violations, so we called the organisers up to have their statements taken. We opened investigation papers because an alleged violation was committed,” he said, adding that they were very accommodating to those in question and were willing to do it at their convenience.
Hamid said he was not sending personnel clad in balaclavas to surround these demonstrators and drag them out of their homes.
“In speeches during demonstrations, people must also avoid making threats and using foul language as that could be subject to another law,” he said, adding that demonstrators could exercise their rights, but must do so with care.