There are disturbing reports of intimidation by members of the PDRM Special Branch against some youthful political protesters. Naturally such claims have to be investigated and the new IGP should not delay in seeing to it that this is done. Thoroughly and impartially.
If any police officer posted at Special Branch, from the most senior to the most junior, is found to have employed intimidation in the terms reported, or indeed in any terms, those concerned should be returned to uniformed duties instantly and then investigated over their reported conduct.
The existence of police Special Branches is a clear necessity in any society, threatened, as is Malaysia, with subversion, political and otherwise. But that can never be an excuse for misuse of the special role and powers which such branches need to do their task. The fact that much such activity is necessarily carried out secretly unfortunately sometimes creates conditions in which abuse of power occurs, as apparently here. Rotten fruit goes in the rubbish bin and so should rotten members of the Police Force.