Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 26th March 2010:
Is Musa currying favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override Hishammuddin and get another year's extension as IGP?
The Inspector-General Tan Sri Musa Hassan has acted with unusual alacrity when he announced in less than 24 hours that the police will investigate claims made by the independent Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin in Parliament on Wednesday that he was asked to implicate the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibu.
This is in complete contrast with the foot-dragging and procrastination that top police leadership would indulge in when police reports are lodged against prominent government leaders from Umno and Barisan Nasional.
What is especially extraordinary with Musa's high-speed response is that no police report had yet been lodged over Zulkifli's allegation – a pre-condition always insisted on by the police before there could be any police investigation.
As MPs enjoy parliamentary privilege, they have immunity for what they say in Parliament, which bars not only prosecution but also being subject to police investigations for their parliamentary speeches – unless this is waived by the MP concerned or the MP repeated his allegation outside the precincts of Parliament as lodging a police report.
In the circumstances, shouldn't police investigation be contingent on Zulkifli lodging a police report? It is also useless for Musa to order a police report be lodged on Zulkifli's speech, as the speech is protected by parliamentary privilege and immunity!
In any event, will Musa announce initiation of police investigations if an allegation is made in Parliament that the Prime Minister has murdered someone or some Minister has committed various crimes under the laws of the country? If not, again why the double standards?
Musa's alacrity in springing to action when there is no basis whatsoever for police action raises the question whether he is really trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammdudin Hussein and get another year's extension as Inspector-General of Police when his one-year contract expires in September.
On 15th March, Hishammuddin had told the press in Parliament that Musa would be replaced as IGP.
"It is not only specific to the IGP but four out of the seven division directors of PDRM. I already know who is going to replace the IGP. I already know who will replace the commercial crime investigation department director.
"I already know those who will take over, so there is no use speculating or reporting without basis." (Sun March 16, 2010)
But Musa does not know, as for almost a week later, Musa was still hoping to get another extension as IGP when his one-year renewed contract expires in September, as obvious from Musa's interview in the Mingguan Malaysia dated 21st March 2010, viz:
"Q – Mungkin terdapat kemungkinan Tan Sri menyambung perkhidmatan selepas September depan?
"Musa – Itu saya tidak tahu. Saya tidak boleh bercakap apa-apa. Kena tanya kerajaan atau Perdana Menteri kerana beliau saja yang tahu."
From this answer, it is clear that Musa has not taken Hishammuddin's announcement as the last word, despite the Home Minister's statement that "I know who is going to replace the IGP. I know who will replace the commercial crime division director."
Hence the speculation whether Musa was trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister hoping to override Hishammuddin and get another year's extension as IGP come September.
But is it possible for a decision to be taken about the appointment of a new IGP come September without the present IGP knowing?
Under the Constitution and the law of the land, this is not possible.
Article 140 (4) of the Constitution on "Police Force Commission" sets out the manner for the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police and all top police posts.
Article 140 (4) and (5) read:
(4) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may designate as special posts the posts of Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police and any other posts in the police force which in his opinion are of similar or superior status; and the appointment to any post so designated shall not be made in accordance with Clause (1) but shall be made by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Police Force Commission.
(5) Before acting in accordance with Clause (4) on the recommendation of the Police Force Commission, the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall consider the advice of the Prime Minister, and may once refer the recommendation back to the Commission in order that it may be reconsidered.
Article 140(3) provides that the Police Force Commission shall comprise:
(a) the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for the police, who shall be Chairman;
(b) the officer of police in general command of the police force;
(c) the person performing the duties of the office of Secretary General to the Ministry under the Minister for the time being charged with responsibility for the police;
(d) a member of the Public Services Commission appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;
(e) not less than two nor more than six other members, appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
As the IGP is statutorily a member of the Police Force Commission which must initially make the recommendation for the appointment of a new IGP, how could Musa be unaware of who will replace him in September if the Police Force Commission chaired by the Home Minister had already met to decide on the matter, as implied by Hishammuddin.
Or was Hishammuddin merely stating that he has his candidate for the post of new IGP although the Police Force Commission had not yet met on the matter – but this will be most improper as under the Constitution, it is not the Home Minister who finally decides on the appointment of the IGP but the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, with the option of one reference back to the Police Force Commission for reconsideration of its initial recommendation.
If a new IGP has been decided and the present IGP has no inkling of it, it is not only an unlawful and unconstitutional decision, it will the strongest proof that the speculation of a serious rift between the Home Minister and the IGP is not smoke without fire.
Is this why Musa is keeping his hopes open for another renewal as IGP – which would be in the hands of the Prime Minister, who has to make the recommendation of the appointment to the Yang di Pertuan Agong?
Hishammuddin should clarify the issue and state clearly whether the Police Force Commission has decided on who should be the new IGP, why the present IGP knows nothing about it and most important of all, who will be the next IGP.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor