Enforced disappearance: The task force is a joke

Enforced disappearance: The task force is a joke

PSM is greatly disappointed by the announcement made by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the appointments of the members of the Special Task Force to re-investigate the enforced disappearances.

PSM would like to reiterate that what we need is a truly independent investigation mechanism like the IPCMC, which has power and mandate to take on the powerful police force.

Muhyiddin’s statement yesterday “The report by Suhakam had created negative perception, which was said to be unfair to the police as the accused party (in the hearing). The ministry is of the view that this report is serious and should be looked into thoroughly” gives an impression that the minister is out there to redeem the name of the police force rather than investigate the serious crime associated to these forced disappearances. Suhakam’s finding concluded that the forced disappearances were conducted by the state apparatus.

We need to get our facts right. During the entire Suhakam public inquiry, the police force did not want to cooperate, were being difficult and failed to disclose pertinent information. This can only be concluded as a cover-up.

When Suhakam report was first released, the first statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Suhakam’s finding was based on mere hearsay. This statement was made even before reading the Suhakam findings. Later, the Prime Minister said that an investigation will be conducted once the new IGP is appointed.

Now looking at all these developments, the only way to redeem public confidence of the police is to appoint strong members to the task force; independent and have a clear terms of reference. Here, it appears that the minister appointed a task force which does not appear strong and there are also no clear terms of reference.

This task force’s independence is being questioned as it is made up of, among others, members who are currently and previously with the police force. The appointment of Mokhtar Mohd Noor, the former head of the legal department of the police force is definitely a matter of conflict of interest as he had appeared for the police during the Suhakam inquiry and did a lousy job.

KUALA LUMPUR, 03/04/2019. Suhakam commissioner, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, announced the discovery of the Public Inquiry into the abolition of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat at SUHAKAM, Prime Prime Tower.

Other members like Zamri Yahya, who is the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department director, is also tantamount to conflict of interest because if the task force finds that there are elements of abuse of power by the police, it will reflect badly on the police integrity departments (JIPS) which he heads and even make this department redundant.

So it is sad that all hopes to redeem public confidence are dashed as the statement by the Home Minister as well as the appointments does not instill much confidence.

Based on all the evidence laid down by Suhakam, PSM believes that the duties of the task force has been made easier as they just need to follow the trail. Now it seems that the task force will be investigating if Suhakam’s finding is fair. It looks like we are a long way from justice and truth.

S.Arutchelvan
PSM Central Committee Member