Appointment of new IGP during Emergency is disputable, say lawyers

PETALING JAYA : The appointment of Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani as the next inspector-general of police is disputable, as it is being done when the nation is under an Emergency, two lawyers said.

Abdul Shukor Ahmad said that, in the current context, there was no distinction between retiring upon reaching the age of 60 for civil servants and completing a contract.

“Both scenarios come under the wide definition of retirement. The present top cop Abdul Hamid Bador should remain in office until the Emergency is lifted,” he told FMT.

Shukor said any police officer aggrieved with the new appointment could file a judicial review application in court.

“Let us see how the courts interpret the law,” the lawyer said in response to a statement by Pejuang that said Section 15 of the Police Act 1967 did not allow for the retirement or resignation of police officers during an Emergency.

Lawyer SN Nair agreed, saying that no police officer, from rank and file up to the IGP, could resign or retire when an Emergency was in place.

“The law is silent on whether an IGP on a contract can retire,” said Nair, who was once a police officer.

He said it was unlawful for home minister Hamzah Zainudin to retire policemen or for anyone to leave the force when an Emergency was still in effect.

The appointment of Acryl Sani Abdullah as IGP, replacing Abdul Hamid Bador, can be questioned as this cannot be done when the country is under an Emergency, say lawyers.

“The law is supreme. It is unlawful for the government to retire Hamid,” he added.

Earlier today, Hamzah presented Acryl Sani, the current deputy IGP, with his appointment letter. He is set to take office on May 4, replacing Hamid whose two-year contract ends on Monday.

Hamid, who will turn 63 on Aug 7, was made the nation’s top cop on a two-year post-retirement contract on May 2, 2019 when Pakatan Harapan was in power.

By : V Anbalagan – FMT

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