Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (Caged) notes that the Ministry of Home Affairs has on 10 July 2019 issued another statement about the “taskforce” to probe the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) reports on the disappearances of social activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh.
Caged is pleased that the statement begins by noting the public feedback. This is a good sign.
Caged welcomes the appointment of Azian Umar of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Roger Tan Kor Mee of the Bar Council.
However, Caged remains deeply disturbed that this third statement about the “taskforce” also does not contain the terms of reference.
As Caged has pointed out before, the job of the taskforce is not to “probe” the report of the Suhakam panel. The job of the taskforce is not to repeat or to undermine what the Ppnel did.
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The job of the task force is to do what the police did not do, uncover what the police covered up and ensure actions are taken against police miscreants.
Caged notes that the statement does not address the conflicts of interest involving chairman Rahim Uda and the police integrity and standards compliance department head Zamri Yahya.
Caged is sure the ministry is aware of the practice of our courts: no judge can review his or her own decision. How can Rahim be in a taskforce to “probe a report” which is built on an overturning of his earlier decision?
Caged is not satisfied by the limp explanation that Zamri needs to be on the taskforce to compel cooperation by police personnel.
As Caged pointed out in a very widely disseminated statement on 8 July, Zamri is an interested party because he should have investigated five issues of potential misconduct by eight officers during the Suhakam inquiry. He is therefore an interested party.
The statement also does not address the public outcry against putting Koh on the backburner purportedly because of concerns about “sub judice” and contempt of court.
We urge the ministry to discuss with NGOs and others who have spoken so voluminously on this issue before putting out any more statements about this subject. If it does not do so, the public will continue calling this a sham or bogus taskforce.
10 July 2019