“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
COMMENT | 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 homeland.
We are a nation that has still not acknowledged our history of slavery upon the indigenous people of this country. We do not attempt to learn from our past. We bury it, hoping that we may escape whatever lessons it could have taught us.
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 favour.”
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.
With this 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.
In 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.
A 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, who has been doing sterling work, which often goes 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...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.