DESPITE a flurry of last-minute activity and the endorsement of some government leaders, Malaysia’s controversial top cop, Khalid Abu Bakar, will retire next month and be replaced by his deputy, Noor Rashid Ibrahim.
It was a known fact that he was angling for an extension despite saying he was looking forward to retirement after a controversial tenure that included tweeting orders publicly.
Khalid, who became IGP in May 2013, is due to retire on his 60th birthday this September 5 without getting any extension in service despite talk that the Najib government will keep key officials ahead of the next general elections.
On June 16, he confirmed his retirement, telling journalists: “Yes, I am going on mandatory retirement in September. I will turn 60.”
Malaysia’s two top judges – Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin – had their services extended by three years earlier this month.
The Malaysian Insight understands that Noor Rashid’s deputy will be Special Branch chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
Noor Rashid was named deputy inspector-general of police on December 3, 2014 while Fuzi became Special Branch chief in July 2015.
Noor Rashid was born on March 17, 1958 and joined the police in 1987 as an assistant superintendent of police. He is a physics graduate from Universiti Malaya.
The new appointments follow the massive reshuffle in the police force earlier this month when a total of 74 officers were transferred or promoted, with the internal security and public order department and the narcotics department getting new directors.
The reshuffle came after several raids that saw a number of police officers being held over allegations of graft, abuse of power and collusion with the underworld.
Several states, including Johor, Selangor, Sarawak and Negri Sembilan, will also have new police chiefs, which Khalid had said was in preparation of the next general election and the Sea Games now under way.
“We are preparing the police to face the (coming) general election and Southeast Asian Games,” he had said in Bukit Aman last month.
“The reshuffle and transfers that we are going to carry out are towards that – to get ready, especially for the polls,” he was quoted as saying in news reports.
He was tightlipped about his retirement, saying “The next wave of the reshuffle will be my retirement. Then, there will be another (wave) of changes, it is normal.”
He began his career on December 5, 1976 at the age of 19 when he enrolled as an Inspector in Training at the Police Training Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He later graduated with a law degree from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
As the IGP, Khalid was known for his extensive use of Twitter for public communication, including issuing informal warnings to Malaysians. This had earned him much criticism from activists, who accused him of using Twitter to curb free speech.
He was also accused of links to the underworld, while his daughter runs a firearms retail outlet in a country that requires police permits to own guns.
Khalid had confirmed that some of his family members knew a Gopinathan, who was alleged to be a key ‘intermediary’ in a major police protection racket across gambling dens and prostitution houses in Malacca.
But the government cleared Khalid, saying he had nothing to do with the case.