KUALA LUMPUR: A corrupt police constable in Rembau landed himself in hot water recently after he unwittingly solicited a bribe from a local farmer, who would go on to become the 12th Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Prior to his return to the police force and subsequent appointment as the nation's top cop, Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador was a pensioner who ventured into farming and tended to his vegetable farm in his hometown of Rembau, where he sold produce for a living.
"One day, I was on my way to the market in my pickup truck, which was laden with cucumbers, long beans and eggplants.
"I was stopped by a policeman on a motorbike and he claimed that my truck was overloaded. I told him it was not because the weight (of the vegetables) was not over 500kg.
"He then asked me whether my assistant, who was also in the truck, was a foreigner. I told him he was a Bangladeshi with a valid work permit," Abdul Hamid said during an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times today.
Abdul Hamid, who was speaking on efforts to stamp out corruption in the police force, said the police officer then asked him for "duit kopi", or a bribe.
"I said to him: 'I can treat you to a drink but if you are doing this to extort money from me, that's wrong'.
"Obviously, he didn't know who I was," he quipped, adding that the Rembau police chief at the time eventually took disciplinary action against the constable.
Abdul Hamid said the police chief later issued an instruction to all members of the motorised patrol unit in the district, reminding them not to "terrorise motorists".
"They are supposed to be patrolling and prevent crime. They used to stop passing motorists and asked for license. That is not their job," he stressed.
"People laugh at this story now because that poor constable didn't recognise me," said Abdul Hamid, who served as Special Branch deputy director prior to his resignation in 2016.
Abdul Hamid said his love for farming is on the back burner ever since he was called back to active duty.
"I have completely divorced from it (farming). My partners are continuing the business and I have given them all the facilities including my pickup truck.
"After I retire in two years, I am going back to farming. I love it," he said.