Dear IGP, why the disturbing ‘ignorance’?

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I refer to The Sun’s headline announcement, ‘Worrying silence’, published on Monday March 6 about Pastor Raymond’s abduction. Speaker of Selangor YB Hannah Yeoh and civil society colleague Ramanathan wrote a good analysis of the vigil held and attended mainly by Christians and their Malay friends. Those vigils are now spreading nationwide and I believe will continue until the police give some positive or definitive explanation.

Unlike President Donald Trump who majors on fake news because he has legitimacy to create and further propagate it; I have no such platform of public immunity. Therefore, I can only use legitimate means and modes available to ordinary Malaysian citizens; ie for those of us who choose to do so. Most prefer not to, for reasons best known to themselves.

In this column therefore I will offer an alternate hypothesis to that of mainstream newspapers? I will call this apparent inaction of the police, what The Sun called ‘worrying silence’ as a kind of disturbing ignorance. Allow me to make my case.

Action in organisation theory

Action in organisation development is always deemed to be a volitional choice of every actor. Therefore, if we do not ask the actors to explain their motives or intentions, we are forced to give the benefit of the doubt.

That cannot be the case with public offices or organisations. Whether it is president of the USA, or the mayor of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), or our inspector-general of police (IGP), it is the democratic right of ordinary citizens and their support communities to enquire about public happenings and demand full disclosure accountability.

On the other hand, if The Sun’s headline’s unstated assumption is deemed right - that the police know more than they are speaking but they have chosen to keep silent about the investigations and progress. In fact, the IGP has gone on record asking citizens to shut up or not speak up.

I will however develop my own theory of what could be technically possible, if the police put their heart and soul into the search and recovery operation. Therefore while we wait in vigil-mode to understand true actions and intentions related to the finding and recovery, my alternative theory is as follows:

1. My assumption is that the police can always get all information they need, by legal and/or other legitimate means;

2. Therefore, it should not be impossible for the police, with their technical capabilities and legal authority, to identify and locate all vehicles and telephones deployed at that locality at that very time of the incident;

3. Further, given that all privatised highways are today fully monitored and video-recorded, it is not impossible to get recordings and monitor which direction the five vehicles were headed;

4. From such a recording, it is not impossible to get licence plate numbers of all vehicles and zoom down to owners for credible explanations about their drivers and agenda;

5. From all these data and analysed information, especially phone usage information; the police can develop a clearer theory about real intention and criminal violation of our public spaces; and

6. Then, they can get a court order to detain and interrogate at least the legal owners of the crime-deployed vehicles for intentions and agenda...

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