Klang MP: Task force investigating Pastor Koh, Amri’s enforced disappearances lacks credibility

Santiago said it was disturbing to see senior leaders such as Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dismissing concerns raised by civil societies group that had opposed the task force line-up. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Santiago said it was disturbing to see senior leaders such as Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dismissing concerns raised by civil societies group that had opposed the task force line-up. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Klang MP Charles Santiago today said that there is a conflict of interest with regards to the line-up of the government’s task force meant to investigate the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat.

Santiago questioned the line-up as it consists of individuals who are from the police force and also those who had worked with the police closely in the past.

He said the composition of the six-man task force formed by the Home Ministry failed to reflect Pakatan Harapan’s vision to uphold the rule of law.

“It’s ridiculous that the government’s task force to investigate these enforced disappearances is made up of police officers or those who have worked with the police.

“It’s a conflict of interest and insults the family members who have suffered for years. Why is the police investigating themselves?” Santiago said in a statement today.

He said it was disturbing to see senior leaders, such as Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, dismissing concerns raised by civil societies group that had opposed the task force line-up.

“Didn’t we, the lawmakers and Cabinet members who were once the Opposition, vehemently condemn such atrocities under the former Umno-led government? Has the cat got our tongue now?” asked Santiago.

Citing the inclusion of Royal Malaysian Police’s Legal Unit chief Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Noor, who had direct interest in the Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) public inquiry of the case, and Bukit Aman’s Integrity and Standard Compliance department director Datuk Zamri Yahya in the task force as an example, Santiago questioned how the public would believe the task force could remain independent, impartial and credible in conducting its probe.

He also pointed that while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the government cannot possibly please everyone, it was about finding the political will to unearth the truth behind the missing cases of Koh and Amri.

“The families of both men have suffered enough. We are a government that was elected to power on the premises of reforms and inclusion.

“The least we could do is to respect the people who believed us enough to vote for us,” he said.

Former High Court judge Datuk Abd Rahim Uda has been tasked to lead the special task force in the investigations.

Other members include Datuk Muhammad Bukhari Ab. Hamid (Director of Operations for the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission) and Mohd Russaini Idrus (Division Secretary for the Police Commission).

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