Malaysiakini Letter

Caged calls on the Home Ministry to work with IGP



LETTER | The Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (Caged) urges the Home Ministry to support the expressed desire of the inspector-general of police (IGP) to reform the police force (PDRM).

Caged responded on July 10 to the statement of the same date by the Home Ministry about the “task force” to probe Suhakam’s conclusion that Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh “were abducted by state agents, namely the Special Branch, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur”.

Caged has, from the outset, voiced the expectation that the Home Ministry should demonstrate the political will to reform PDRM.

Caged accepts the assessment of IGP Abdul Hamid Bador, who has served in PDRM for 37 years, that the number of “dirty cops” is small. (This springs from what he said on May 24, 2019: “if there are 500 dirty cops, there are 125,000 more good cops.”)

Caged speaks for good cops, whether retired or still in service, and for the public who long for PDRM to be a model police force.

Caged believes the evidence adduced during the Suhakam Inquiry and included in the Suhakam reports has severely tarnished PDRM’s image.

Caged notes that the negative impact on PDRM is so serious that the IGP has vowed to let the “task force” act independently.

Caged urges the Home Ministry to support the IGP by constituting a task force which will respond to that evidence quickly, comprehensively and publicly and thereby restore the image of PDRM.

Caged notes that it is more than 100 days since the Suhakam reports were published, but the “task force” is still formless and void.

Caged agrees with the Suhakam Panel that the task force must report activities and outcomes to Suhakam and the public at regular intervals.

Caged stresses that the goal of the task force is to get this final response from Suhakam: “The issues our panel unearthed have been addressed.”

Sadly, to-date, the Home Ministry has seriously under-delivered. To-date, CAGED has listed seven reasons why the “task force” is bogus.

First, unpublished Terms of Reference (ToR).

Second, doubt over whether the ToR match those listed by Suhakam.

Third, the appearance that the “investigation-to-be” is of the Suhakam reports instead of the police reports of disappearances and of the officers who committed misconduct during the purported police investigations to-date. This is because the Home Ministry’s statements to-date are silent about the statutory powers of the task force.

Fourth, inclusion, as a member, of a serving police chief whose department should be investigated.

Fifth, inclusion, as a member, of an ex-judge with a conflict of interest.

Sixth, the absence of an ex-judge from the Court of Appeal or Federal Court.

Seventh, baseless Home Ministry's claim that it is sub-judice to investigate the Raymond Koh case while a “related” court case is pending.

Caged reminds the Home Ministry that the moniker “bogus” will stick to the “task force” for as long as the seven concerns listed here are not addressed.

Caged is the NGO Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances, established on May 5, 2017, to monitor cases of enforced disappearance in Malaysia.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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