To many Malaysians, he was a failure, at his job.
Instead of tackling alleged corruption in the police force, he and some of his family members were friends with criminal syndicates involved in illegal gambling and prostitution.
Instead of placing more policemen on the beat, to make them more visible, when combating crime, he merely increased the number of policemen keeping tabs on social media, to curb free speech.
Instead of following court orders, he gave excuses to justify inaction. Instead of arresting corrupt politicians, he found it easier to arrest those who complained about corrupt acts.
Loyalty is rewarded
Today, Najib Abdul Razak announced that the former inspector-general of police (IGP), Khalid Abu Bakar, has been appointed the chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and been made a special envoy.
This appointment confirms the suspicions of most Malaysians:-
- This is a political appointment. When he was the IGP, people joked that Khalid was the Division Head of the Umno-Baru branch of Bukit Aman. (Bukit Aman is the headquarters of the PDRM, the Malaysian equivalent of Scotland Yard). As the nation’s top cop, Khalid appeared to act like he was doing Najib’s bidding as an Umno-Baru division chief.
- Khalid knows the skeletons in Najib’s cupboard, and vice versa. The best strategy these two men can adopt is to remain friends and close to one another, to make sure all their skeletons are firmly locked away in the same closet.
- In Malaysia, it is who you know, not what you know. You can be the most able, skilled, experienced and knowledgeable expert, but if you do not have a kabel ke atas (connections) you get nowhere.
- There are probably hundreds of other qualified Malaysians who could fill this role, but Khalid is the “best” man for the job, because he has proven himself to be a loyal servant, to Najib.
- What does Khalid know about public transport? He was probably ferried around, with police outriders clearing his path, despite the traffic jams along congested roads. Najib and the Cabinet ministers force themselves to ride on public transport, once every five years, with pressmen following them.
- Khalid’s contacts are invaluable. He knows how the police work and he can be called upon to help get Najib or his aides, out of a sticky patch.
- Khalid didn’t even sort out the problems under his remit, such as mother, Indira Ghandi’s kidnapped child. Why does Najib think Khalid can solve international problems? He could not sort out the problems in his own back yard.
- Khalid is being rewarded for the services he has rendered to the PM. The appointment is a manifestation of Najib’s “You help me, I help you.” Meritocracy is irrelevant.
Who you know, not what you know
Prasarana is owned by the government, and is an entity parked under the Prime Minister’s Department. It was set up in September 1998 to manage public transport in Kuala Lumpur, but today, it operates public transport infrastructure that includes the Mass Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), KL Monorail and Rapid bus services in the federal capital, Penang, Kuantan and Kamunting.
Najib said, “Khalid will continue the mission and vision of Prasarana to build and offer world-class public transport services as well as increase the use of public transport.”
When he made Khalid special envoy, he said that it was to enhance relations with the international community in combating terrorism, extremism and human trafficking.
On his retirement yesterday, the controversial former IGP said that he had given his best in his 41 years of service and that he left “no unfinished business”.
Most Malaysians think otherwise.