Wang Kelian – into the heart of darkness - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Malaysiakini : “You know I hate, detest and can't bear a lie, not because I am
straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appals me. There
is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies - which is exactly
what I hate and detest in the world - what I want to forget.” ― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
| I have no idea what will become of the Royal Commission of Inquiry
(RCI) into the mass graves at Wang Kelian. While NGOs and activists have
expressed support for the government’s decision to set up this RCI, I
remain sceptical if anything will come of it.
Wang Kelian is more
than just a mass grave. It is an indictment of a system that is mired in
corruption bordering on the evil and a society that has very little
interests in the plight of marginalised peoples who come to our
The executive director of the human rights NGO Tenaganita, Glorene A Das, reminded
the powers that be to also investigate the individuals (including those
who may be politically linked) who were behind the cover-up of Wang
Kelian: “The reported cover-up of the activities of human trafficking
syndicates and the annihilation of vital evidence needs to be explained;
those involved in it should be brought to justice, without fear or
And this is an important point. The fact is that Wang
Kelian could not have happened if the was no collusion among crime
syndicates, the state security apparatus and most importantly, the
political class who were needed to facilitate and give legitimacy to a
cover-up. We are talking about high crimes perpetrated by local actors
working in concert with foreign high-ranking officials.
in mind, the idea that the police are going to “assist” in this RCI is
laughable. One of the things I argued that the new Pakatan Harapan
government should do, after their historic May 9 win, is to unearth the
killers and slavers of Wang Kelian. I have a deep mistrust of the state
security apparatus. Please refer to this piece.
it you will discover that all Bukit Aman has done is to stonewall
journalists investigating this case. They dodged questions from the then
opposition political operatives, contaminated (or worse) the crime
scenes and these were enabled by the ruling BN regime. International
publications like the Guardian reported that the state department
claimed that there was high-level participation of government officials
in Malaysia and Thailand in the Wang Kelian mass killings.
police Special Branch report compiled over 10 years detailed the
systemic corruption within the enforcement agencies, claiming that at
least 80 percent of law enforcement officers at the border were corrupt.
The DAP’s Steven Sim (photo), who has been doing sterling work,
which often went unreported, questioned then home minister Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi on the status of 12 police officers who were persons of interests
in this crime and what did the home minister say in his written reply?
That there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.
No independent investigation was done
Aman, when this issue first seeped into the mainstream media, claimed
that there was no evidence that any police personnel were involved.
Never mind that evidence was tampered with. Never mind that there was
circumstantial evidence of wrongdoing. Never mind that political
operatives from the highest levels of the Umno system were repeating the
same denials as the state security apparatus, despite no independent
investigation having been done.
We are now to believe that the police are suddenly interested in discovering the “truth” Unfortunately, the "truth" is unpalatable when it comes to human trafficking in Malaysia. As per this report:
In one of their major coups in 2011, the Special Branch arrested eight
Immigration Department officers based at the Kuala Lumpur International
Airport (KLIA) for their alleged involvement in a human-trafficking
operation. When interrogating the suspects, one of them was asked, "Who
else are in the payroll of the syndicate?" And the shocking answer was:
"It would be easier if you asked us for the names of officers not on the
Do you know what is dangerous about the game we are
playing here? Forget about the fact that Bukit Aman assisting in this
investigation should raise red flags. Consider the political operatives
and their hangers-on who could have been involved in this. What we have
are political operatives who are now part of the government, who were
also part of the old regime. Who can you really trust when it comes to
this RCI, in the sense that some kind of political interference could be
applied to save the collective behinds of political operatives in the
establishment and the opposition.
What we have are political
operatives and their hangers-on who could have profited or covered up
crimes in the old regime and who now work in this new regime. Would they
really be interested in the truth being exposed? Would they really be
interested to shine a light on the nexus of criminal enterprises, the
security apparatus and political power in this country?
of the state security apparatus? Has there been any real reform since
the Harapan government took over? There were rumblings of closing down
certain units and chatter on the streets was because these units had
become so entangled in criminal syndicates they were supposed to be
investigating. It would be easier to close down these units and sweep
everything under the carpet. I have said before, that the state security
apparatus is riddled with petty fiefdoms, whose allegiances shift with
the turning of the political tide.
I hope I am wrong. I truly do hope so, but I think nobody really wants to confront the heart of darkness which is Wang Kelian.