We, the following civil society organisatons, are writing to support the family members of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri who have expressed their concerns with the composition of the taskforce established to probe the disappearance of the two individuals.
It is important that this inquiry is truly independent – and is seen by Malaysians and the rest of the world as such. It must be impartial and NOT mired in possible conflict of interest or bias.
Otherwise, the taskforce will be seen by all as a whitewashing force, set up to hide rather than uncover the facts and truth behind the disappearance of the two individuals.
As it stands, we are deeply disappointed with the prime minister saying he cannot please everyone with the composition of the taskforce. It is not a case of pleasing everyone but of prioritising justice for the family of the victims and for those seeking the truth and genuine closure in this case.
The composition of the taskforce only seems to please the perpetrators and this is unacceptable.
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Justice for the victims and their family members has been delayed for many years due to the previous government’s apathy. The composition of the current taskforce would only further deny justice for these victims of enforced disappearance. This will only serve to further the suspicions and even accusations of government complicity in the disappearance of these individuals.
Furthermore, the stand that the taskforce will only begin investigating Koh’s case after the conclusion of the pending criminal prosecution is absurd. Suhakam was faced with an identical conundrum in the early phase of its inquiry but it was established that the case had no factual correlation to the disappearance.
We call on the home affairs minister to take the necessary action to remedy the present serious flaws in the taskforce to ensure public confidence and trust in the taskforce. The revised taskforce membership should take into account the views of the affected families and various civil society organisations that have been following this case closely.
Released by the following civil society organisations:
- Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
- LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
- Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
- Pusat Komas
- Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
- Tamil Foundation Malaysia
- United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
- University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany)