GEORGE TOWN: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today said there was nothing wrong with the police engaging in businesses through their cooperative (co-op) as it was completely legal to do so.
This follows concern raised by the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) earlier today that the police involvement in business, outside policing, was a clear conflict of interest and could lead to abuse of power or corruption.
On the sidelines of a Penang PPBM Hari Raya event today, Muhyiddin said co-ops are regulated and would have to abide by federal laws. Hence, any improprieties could be detected.
Muhyiddin said the core reason for co-ops to be set up was to obtain profits for its members and ensure their welfare was taken care of.
He said co-ops are not exclusive to the police force, but other units of the uniformed forces, such as the military and government servants, also have them, with millions of members.
“I do not think this is against (any interests). If there is proof of misdeeds or elements of corruption or even crime, then the relevant parties should lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Don’t go making random accusations on the co-op or other parties, because I think their role is to help their members. So, I think it is unfair for us (to speculate).”
C4 today revealed that KOP Mantap, a Bursa-listed company, has shares in 23 companies. It has a controlling stake in nine of them.
KOP Mantap is owned by Koperasi Polis Diraja Malaysia Berhad, the police force’s cooperative society.
C4 said the police cooperative society was actually a “conglomerate”, venturing into various businesses such as hospitality, travelling, construction and others.
It also revealed that former top cops were involved in companies manufacturing ammunition, through a finance ministry subsidiary company, with one company facing alleged monetary losses.
C4 hoped Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador would look into this as part of the reforms needed for the police force.
Recently, Hamid announced that 67 associations were registered under the police force, despite them having no connections with the police.
There were also allegations of such organisations selling police representative cards to private individuals, which are then misused to collect donations and avoid summonses, among others.