Malaysia is probably the first country in the world with the top cop who operates in the Internet time zone, who seems to be running the 130,000-strong Royal Malaysian Police from his twitter post, twittering immediate police commands to police subordinates to harass and investigate Opposition leaders and civil society activists for alleged offences under the Sedition Act and other laws affecting civil rights such as freedom of speech, expression and assembly.
As a result, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has established a reputation of being twitter trigger-happy and earned the moniker of Twitter Cop, thereby raising different expectations from previous IGPs.
In the past, the public expect the IGP to respond within a day to issues of national importance affecting the police.
However, under Twitter Cop who operates in the Internet time zone of 24/7/365, the public expects Khalid to respond with faster speed in line with the new Social Habit on the social media.
One recent survey shows that 32% of the respondents expect a brand, product or company to respond within 30 minutes through social media for customer support while a further 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
Nobody is asking for a round-the-clock response from the police, but as the foremost exponent of the social media in the police force and even the entire Malaysian civil service, one would expect Khalid to be able to respond within the hour to any important developments affecting the police on the social media.
Is this the case?
At 12.35 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015, Malaysiakini uploaded its report quoting former corporal convicted of murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, Sirul Azhar Umar of accusing Khalid of lying when the Inspector-General of Police said he had sent his men to Australia to meet the convict fugitive.
This set the stage for what must be the world’s first “circus” of an ordinary police corporal challenging the top cop of the nation and accusing him as a liar, with the top cop challenging the former corporal convict in retaliation but studiously avoiding the real question at issue!
But two full days or 48 hours have passed since Malaysiakini uploaded the report on Sirul accusing Khalid as a liar, and Khalid has belied his reputation as twitter-quick in his response in being unable to produce proof that it was Sirul who had lied by the very simple act of naming the police officer or officers who had met Sirul at the Sydney immigration detention centre, and the date or dates.
Khalid’s inability to debunk Sirul’s allegation of being a liar in the last 48 hours on twitter-time would be equivalent to several weeks of silence in the pre-social media era.
Khalid’s failure after 48 hours to name police officers who had met Sirul in Sydney immigration detention centre and rebut the former corporal convict’s accusation that the top cop in the country had lied is the top national embarrassment of the year
This is a shocking reflection on the efficiency, work ethic and professionalism of the top cop of the country.
Khalid should respond immediately and name the police officer or officers and the date or dates they had met Sirul at the Villawood immigration detention centre in Sydney or he must stand condemned as having lied when he claimed that police officers had met Sirul at the Sydney immigration detention centre.
It is strange that the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Noor Rashid Ibrahim, knew nothing about police officers sent to Sydney to meet with Sirul, as Noor had pleaded ignorance when asked on the matter, saying: “Ask the IGP. I can’t comment. I am not sure. Maybe the IGP has knowledge of it. I would not have known about it because I was focused on something else. This is out of my knowledge.” (Free Malaysia Today 4.4.2015)
The IGP has challenged Sirul, whom he rightly described as “a desperate man …resorting to desperate measures to save his life”, to “spill the beans, if he has any” of the Altantuya murder, raising the question whether Khalid was aware that there are “beans” to be spilled, not only from Sirul but also others.
It is time that Khalid himself make a clean breast publicly of what he know about the Malaysian crime of the century, the Altantuya murder!