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IPCMC: Pak Lah must strike now

I refer to your report Police attack IPCMC in internal bulletin.

In one of the most amazing and unprecedented episode of our nation's history, the Royal Malaysian Police has dropped all pretence at being the impartial public service it ought to be, and virtually admitted to being a mercenary force for the preservation of a political party's power, that of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

In a special edition of an internal bulletin Berita Bukit Aman, the police or, to be more precise, its top level management, attacked the very concept of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as 'unconstitutional, prejudicial to national security and public order, can cause a state of anarchy and undermines the ruling coalition's power'.

Did everyone get the last bit?

Yes, that bit when the police warned that the IPCMC may just shackle the police's ability to shore up the ruling coalition, or BN's power. The police bulletin, reflecting the views of senior police management, presented nine points on why the IPCMC must be opposed, with its third point revealing that the Royal Malaysian Police, provided the IPCMC is not established, will continue to serve the BN to ensure the political organisation remains in power.

As if that was not shocking enough, the police have also openly threatened the ruling coalition, over the issue of the IPCMC. The Berita Bukit Aman warns that if the IPCMC is established, the police force will vote for the opposition in the next general election, and turn to the opposition to fight for its rights. Since it won't have a snowflake's chance in hell of getting that support from the DAP, we may assume that it has referred to either PAS or PKR.

But more worrying and threatening, the Association of Gazetted Senior Police's head ACP Jamaludin Khalid Jamaludin said in the bulletin that, additionally, the police top brass will resign en bloc, policemen will refuse to work overtime and demand for an eight-hour five-day working week .

The police is an 'essential service' and under legislative arrangements, like all essential services, cannot go on strike or work to rule. That it dares to play stick and carrot with the BN shows its arrogance, ruthlessness and defiance of its subordination to political power.

Its unprecedented, reckless abandonment of pretence, proprietary and protocol is an indication of frantic worries about its many skeletons in its cupboard. But this extraordinary terrifying insubordination must not be overlooked. History has shown that mercenaries have often turned against their masters when the situations suited them. In Malaysia today, we have such a mercenary force dedicated to the preservation of the BN's power but has shown it can turn very ugly towards its master.

The PM, also in his capacity as internal security minister, must sack the inspector-general of police and the top layer of senior police officers within the next three days to reassert political dominance over a public service, or our worst nightmare will begin, if it has not already.

If the police get away with such an open threat to a legitimately-elected government, very soon we will be like what our neighbours were once, ruled by the police (or armed forces).

Ironically, an increasingly unpopular Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has now been presented with a God-sent opportunity to redeem himself. If he tames the feral Malaysian police force, he could well be another Truman or Sadat. Fate has presented him with this crucial moment in his career. Will he seize this momentous opportunity gratefully?