At a press conference in Petaling Jaya today, Musa said he and his successor faced such challenges of interference - and implied that this was more rampant under Ismail's administration.
"I was informed that even the KSU (secretary-general of the Home Ministry) can direct the CPO (state police contingent head) to report back to him. So, who is in charge of the police?
"Section 4(1) of the Police Act 1967 states that command and control of the police force should lie with the IGP. No other person can issue instructions to the police. That is why we have the Inspector-General's Standing Orders (IGSO).
"You can't (take) instructions from the KSU and report back to him. How do we explain this? This is a thing that we should highlight so they can correct (the situation). We don't say this out of hatred.
"I want them to improve things because I love the police force. My children's studies were funded by gaji polis, loh!" Musa added.
Reporter: To put it bluntly, has Ismail lost control of the police force?
Musa: You ask him. You don't ask me (laughs).
Reporter: You said someone should correct the situation...
Musa: He himself. He is the IGP.
Asked for his personal thoughts on Ismail, Musa described his successor as "a good man" but that Ismail needed to stand his ground.
Being a 'yes man' won't help
"Being a good man alone, and to become popular, I think, is not a criteria to be the IGP. You have to be tough. Sometimes, your have to be vocal with your superiors. When it is not right, tell that it is not right.
"I used to say before, if an IGP is the 'yes man' (then) he is the best IGP in the world. If he is vocal then he will be a bad IGP. He will have a lot of allegations against him.
"The 'yes man' just follows what the people want, then you are the best IGP. In Malaysia, it works that way," he said.
Musa also criticised the "high profile policing" strategy of the force, arguing that having the police top brass embarking on a public relations exercise would not yield results.
"There is no point for the IGP to go around and say he is close to the people. No one is going to call you. It is the people on the ground who do the job.
"When I was in service before, I gave my phone number to the public because I want to get involved with the public (and) so I can check (on) my officers," Musa added.