Let Musa tell his story

NEW Now that Musa Hassan has exchanged his uniform for civilian clothes, he is no longer beholden to his political masters. But his job is far from over. He has one last task to complete. Musa dropped a bombshell when he spilled the beans about third-party interference in the work of the police force. So his duty to the nation is clear-cut: tell the people what transpired at Bukit Aman when he was the Inspector-General of Police. He levelled serious allegations against his former employers and he must stand in the court of public opinion or law to give his evidence. He has created a storm which will not subside until the truth is out.

However, he will not have an easy time. It is very likely he will be stopped in his track. His ex-bosses are not above resorting to dirty tricks to silence him if they have to. He may face charges of wrongdoings and may end up behind bars – and the “secrets”, if any, will never be known. But one would like to believe that Musa will not buckle under pressure. He fought many criminals when he was the top gun; he must display the same level of courage to meet his new opponents who are more powerful, devious, dangerous.

A persistent question that cropped up when Musa stirred up the hornest' nest is: why now? The answer is simple: before, he must obey the government; now, he obeys his conscience. While in uniform, his sole duty was to carry out orders. He might not like what he was told to do, but his was not to argue. He might be armed but the government called the shots. Under his tenure as the top law enforcer, many unpleasant events took place for which he must take the blame. But he could not be acting on his own. Every decision must have the imprimatur of his political paymasters. Musa was a mere cog in the gigantic bureaucratic wheel.

The government may be a potent force but the “most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire”. Musa is on fire now. He has hurled a thunderbolt at his former employers in the first shot of what could be a long, bruising fight. The odds are staked against him. Two powerful cousins stand in his way. Two men who could be his undoing. Two politicians who can open or close files at will. Very likely the duo will move fast to forestall the impending attacks. Especially if the former “servant” was privy to some horrible secrets. Shorn of protection, the civilian Musa can expect concentrated fire with little hope of rescue. The only insurance against unfair treatment will be the eternal vigilance of the people.

Was Musa being “ungrateful”? The implication is he should keep his trap shut because the government had been so kind to him. Every month he got his morsel of food on his table, with perks thrown in as befitted his rank. He was well taken care of. He should thank his lucky star that he got the top job. He just had to stay obedient and carry out orders on the double. No questions asked. Down the years, Musa might have exhibited some streaks of independence and might have pushed for some reforms, with little success.

But Musa is probably no angel himself. He was harshly criticised in some quarters who believed “he should never have been appointed the nation's top dog in the first place”. Many remembered his dubious role in the Sodomy I trial. Others blamed him for the high crime rate. Some even discovered his purported links with the underworld. He was reportedly miffed at the decision of his boss not to renew his contract for the third time and thus turned sour. Finally, when he had to be put out to pasture, it was good riddance to a “bad cop”. Now comes his explosive revelations, with all their ramifications.

The truth is hidden somewhere. Musa has drawn first blood. He must expect a rapid counter-punch from his enraged employers. The fight will be nasty: Musa will not be let off easily. He will be thoroughly discredited. His “criminal” past, if proven, will be his undoing. But if this tough crime-buster stands on solid ground, and can furnish proof that something rotten is eating into the vitals of the police force, it would at least do the country some good. At a time when the image of the law enforcers is nothing to shout about, Musa's last task will go a long way to help make the men in blue a force to be reckoned with and not despised. Musa has a story to tell. Let him tell it.

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