We know who kidnapped Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Sunday, April 07, 2019
The Victims who were kidnapped and made to disappear
Malaysiakini : "Family and friends of people who have disappeared
experience slow mental anguish. Not knowing whether their son or
daughter, mother or father is still alive. Not knowing where he or she
is being held, or how they are being treated. Searching for the truth
may put the whole family in great danger. Not knowing if their loved one
will ever return often leaves their relatives living in limbo."
– Amnesty International
| In any functional democracy when a statuary body accuses the state
security apparatus of kidnapping, political operatives would be
exploiting the issues and demanding that the relevant agencies be
investigated. The victims’ families would be surrounded by a gaggle of
political operatives hoping the spotlight not only shines on them, but
also that any investigation into government institutions not only
demonstrates the integrity of the institutions but the political process
This, of course, is not the case in Malaysia.
Suhakam concluded that the “enforced disappearance” of pastor Raymond
Koh and activist Amri Che Mat were the results of actions carried out by
the state security apparatus, the prime minister of this country,
instead of protecting the integrity of the system by advancing calls for
an independent investigation, cast doubtson the findings of this statuary body and asked them to submit evidence of their claims.
firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was injured in the Seafield
Temple riots, this was what the Pakatan Harapan grand poobah said
- “Based on the victim’s condition, it is clear that those who did this
intended to kill him. We can hold demonstrations but it has to be done
peacefully. What took place was not a demonstration, but an attempt to
kill when they came with parang and such. We don’t have much evidence,
but police will conduct a thorough investigation to find out the
mastermind behind this.”
So without any evidence, without
any investigation but most importantly, without any clue as to what
happened, the prime minister of this county concluded that Adib was
attacked with the intention to kill. Since the inquest, it has become
clear that the “attack” on Adib was not a murder attempt and the inquest
has shone a light of various structural issues that plagues this
country and the mendacity of certain individuals.
Meanwhile, any reading of the Suhakam reports
on the “enforced disappearance” would understand that there is enough
circumstantial evidence that warrants further investigation into the
state security apparatus. The disappearance of pastor Koh and Amri is
not something that happened in isolation. Rather it is part of the
systemic dysfunction that makes it impossible for rational Malaysians to
trust the integrity of the system.
the ever-reliable Klang parliamentarian Charles Santiago, where are all
the other Harapan MPs who should be sounding off on this and especially
on what Mahathir said?
When the prime minister says – “We will
then set up a group to study if there is substance in the hearsay
evidence by Suhakam”, it is rubbing salt on the wounds of family members
who have lived in anguish since their loved ones were kidnapped. It
is an unacceptable response. Think about it. The government is setting
up a group to study if the findings of Suhakam are credible. They are
not investigating the state security apparatus but the people accusing
the state security apparatus of malfeasance.
us be very clear. If the state security apparatus took these two men,
the only resolution is for the state to return them. In my piece
on who ordered the kidnapping of pastor Koh, I made this point -
“Whoever these people are, they were confident that the narratives of
the state security apparatus would shield them from whatever
repercussions of the former Umno state and, here is the important part,
may very well shield them from the sanctions of the Pakatan Harapan
And this is really an important point. The prime minister
as usual blames the previous BN government for this and claims that the
current Harapan government is ignorant of the many things that the
former government did. This is a bogus defence of the indefensible.
fact is that Harapan political operatives - including the prime
minister - love to go about the things they have discovered the previous
Umno government was up to when they were in power. These political
operatives love to hold press conferences and write op-ed pieces about
how the current government is discovering the malfeasance of the
This idea that suddenly the Harapan government is
ignorant of the acts done by the state security apparatus is complete
horse manure. The prime minister has no problems coming to the
conclusion that a Malay firefighter was attacked by people intent on
murder, but does not even entertain the idea that state actors were
involved in the disappearance of a Christian pastor and a Muslim
activist who the state had accused of deviance.
The prime minister now says that police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun should be allowed to retire
before his replacement investigates the matter. So after claiming that
the findings of Suhakam were hearsay, the prime minister expects us to
believe that the police investigating their own would be impartial and
fair, when the benefactors of power groups within the state security
apparatus have already cast aspersions on the Suhakam report?
In what I consider an optimistic piece,
former parliamentarian Kua Kia Soong calls for the prime minister to
secure the release of the pastor Koh and Amri. Here’s the thing. Are
they still alive? And this is really the important question, right? Are
these people still alive? The fact that the prime minister of this
country can demonstrate empathy and anger for a victim like Adib and
indifference to the families of pastor Koh and Amir is an indication of
how this so-called new investigation will be carried out.
state security apparatus from the beginning has denied any involvement.
This, of course, goes against the facts when it comes to how the state
security apparatus operates. There are politicians in the government now
who have been detained and their rights trampled on. Kua is a survivor
of the unjust state laws on detention without trial. The history of the
state security apparatus is one of extrajudicial activity supported by
the ruling regime.
This is a description of a raid carried out by
the religious bureaucracy on a church led by pastor Koh - “Around 30
Islamic religious and police officials entered the church compound in
Selangor state without a warrant and began taking videos and
This regime keeps blaming the Najib regime for all
the problems they face. Harapan was voted in because of the reforms they
promised. The kidnapping of pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat
(amongst others) may have been during the Umno/BN watch but what happens
to them now, is legally and morally the responsibility of the Harapan
If the prime minister wanted to, these men could be returned to their families. Unless they cannot be.