"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."
COMMENT | 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 as well.
This, of course, is not the case in Malaysia.
When 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 doubts on the findings of this statuary body and asked them to submit evidence of their claims.
When 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...