‘DON’T BE AFRAID TO LODGE RE­PORTS AGAINST SU­PE­RI­ORS’

Iden­ti­ties of com­plainants will be kept se­cret, says in­tegrity chief

New Straits Times - - News - DATUK AB­DUL GHAFAR RAJAB

HARIZ MOHD

KUALA LUMPUR harizm@nst.com.my

PO­LICE­MEN caught in the cul­ture of be­ing forced to find spon­sors to please their su­pe­ri­ors should not be afraid to lodge com­plaints with the fed­eral po­lice In­tegrity and Stan­dard Com­pli­ance Depart­ment (ISCD).

ISCD di­rec­tor Datuk Ab­dul Ghafar Rajab said top of­fi­cers who abused power by de­mand­ing lower-rank­ing po­lice­men pay for their ex­penses faced strict ac­tions, in­clud­ing de­mo­tion and dis­missal.

He also gave an as­sur­ance that those who lodged com­plaints would have their iden­ti­ties kept a se­cret.

He said ISCD took dis­ci­plinary mat­ters se­ri­ously, adding that last year, 208 po­lice­men were dis­missed for var­i­ous of­fences.

“This is not a small num­ber. As I have said be­fore, ISCD will never com­pro­mise with any wrong­do­ing, and no one will be pro­tected if they are guilty.

“If you com­mit an of­fence, then you have to face the con­se­quences,” he told the New Straits Times in a phone in­ter­view yes­ter­day.

Ghafar said the depart­ment had re­ceived cases where com­plaints were lodged by low­er­rank­ing po­lice­men against their su­pe­ri­ors for abuse of power.

Cit­ing an ex­am­ple, Ghafar said there was an in­ves­ti­ga­tion against an of­fi­cer who was re­ported for al­legedly or­der­ing his men to buy things for him.

He said ISCD had ini­ti­ated in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the case un­der Rule 37 of the Public Of­fi­cers (Con­duct and Dis­ci­pline) Reg­u­la­tions 1993, which is a move to ini­ti­ate dis­missal or de­mo­tion, if the of­fi­cer was found guilty.

He said po­lice­men who wished to lodge com­plaints with the ISCD could do so by go­ing to the depart­ment’s of­fice, mak­ing a call to its Com­plaints Man­age­ment hot­line, or by send­ing in an anony­mous let­ter.

Anony­mous re­ports, how­ever, must have enough de­tails on the al­leged wrong­do­ing, so that ISCD in­ves­ti­ga­tors could ini­ti­ate a probe and make a case.

Once a re­port is re­ceived, Ghafar said, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer would gather ev­i­dence, in­ter­view wit­nesses and take state­ments from the ac­cused. Some cases would also see ISCD mon­i­tor­ing the sus­pect to make their case.

He said once a re­port was proven to be true, ISCD would ini­ti­ate in­ter­nal “prose­cu­tion” process, where the sus­pect would be called to de­fend him­self.

If one is found guilty, the dis­ci­plinary ac­tion taken de­pends on the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence.

“Of­fences that are of se­ri­ous na­ture would see (the of­fender’s) dis­missal from the force, or at least a de­mo­tion.

“Pun­ish­ments for less se­ri­ous cases in­clude warn­ing, fine of not more than a week’s salary and de­lay in pay rise, among oth­ers.”

Ghafar said even the light­est pun­ish­ment in the form of an of­fi­cial warn­ing would bring con­se­quences, where the per­son­nel would not be en­ti­tled to bonus and pro­mo­tion for one year.

The NST, in its ex­clu­sive re­port on Sun­day, re­vealed that the prac­tice of ask­ing “spon­sors” from lower-rank­ing po­lice­men had been a cul­ture in the force.

This, ac­cord­ing to sources, had led to some hav­ing to turn to graft to meet de­mands from their su­pe­ri­ors.

This is not a small num­ber. As I have said be­fore, ISCD will never com­pro­mise with any wrong­do­ing, and no one will be pro­tected if they are guilty. If you com­mit an of­fence, then you have to face the con­se­quences.

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