When he received the call at 11am, Abdul Hamid Bador was at his vegetable farm in Rembau and had to rush back home to find the right attire to present himself before Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"I found an old jacket in my house. I drove straight from my kampung to Putrajaya. At our meeting, Mahathir said that he wanted me to return to work and assist him.
"He offered me the post of Special Branch director. I informed Tun that there may be some confusion or technical problem because I had already retired.
“However, the prime minister told me he will ask the chief secretary to the government then to settle the matter,” he said.
Abdul Hamid was told by Mahathir that returning as the prime minister 15 years after having left the government, he faced many problems because he did not know “who was a friend and who was a foe” and that may jeopardise any plan to establish the dynamic government that he wanted.
As it was a request from the prime minister, Abdul Hamid said, he agreed to take up the offer and had to sign a document which was a one-year contract as the Special Branch director.
Asked whether, at that time, there was the talk of him being appointed the IGP, Abdul Hamid said: “There were indications from Mahathir (photo) and Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin that they wanted me to helm the police force earlier.
"With due respect, I rejected the offer and instead proposed several names for the posts of IGP and deputy IGP. I handed the proposed names personally to Tun and the home minister.
"After that, I did not know of my being offered the post of IGP, but there was such gossip in November. It was true that the home minister himself had stated then that he received a directive from the prime minister wanting me to helm the force, but once again I asked for the matter to be considered,” he said.
Then, last April, Abdul Hamid said, he was called up by the prime minister and was asked who he would pick or propose as the deputy IGP.
He said the prime minister asked him to propose several names for his consideration.
He said it did not come as a surprise when Mazlan Mansor, then Commercial Crime Investigation Department director, was appointed the deputy IGP.
“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to helm the Royal Malaysia Police in accordance with my vision and mission.
“I am also thankful that the prime minister felt it was better to allow Fuzi Harun to complete his service as the IGP until the date of his retirement (on May 4),” Abdul Hamid said.