PETALING JAYA: The police have never considered themselves above the law, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The Inspector-General of Police said the police were not only enforcers of the law, but subject to the same law.
“We do not deny the existence of a handful of black sheep who flout the law.
“But they only form a small portion of the police force. It cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be termed as ‘institutional’,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
He was commenting on a speech made by former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, at a public forum entitled “Rogue Cops: Workable Solutions – Police Accountability In Malaysia“, last week.
Mohamed Dzaiddin had said that “an attitude of indifference to basic human rights” existed in the force, even during the training phase of new officers.
Khalid said the comment generalising police as “an institution that seems to think itself as above the law” was uncalled for.
“He went on to condemn us, by alluding that we condone the abuse of power by our own personnel (or, in his own words, police brutality) by building the ‘blue wall of silence’.
“To charge that we practise the unwritten rule of the ‘blue wall of silence’ in protecting our own kind, is preposterous. We took the initiative to create the Department of Integrity and Standard Compliance to strictly monitor in a structured manner, any form of misdemeanour or abuse of powers amongst our men,” he said.
He added that the force was also judged harshly by Mohamed Dzaiddin who said that the current attitude of the police towards the rule of law was one of indifference, with a disregard for basic human rights.
“He attributed these negativities to a lack of emphasis upon respect for the rule of law or the sanctity of human rights during training stage.
“We would like him and those with kindred minds, to know that our training modules provide for the basic understanding of human rights and fundamentals rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, which are amplified by lectures from Suhakam and the International Islamic University.