Kit Siang: Stop Malaysia’s descent into a rogue state

kit-siangPETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says the government must prioritise the disappearances of five activists since November last year, to prevent the country from descending into a rogue state.

The Gelang Patah MP today said the latest case involving Peter Chong, the former aide to PKR’s Subang MP R Sivarasa, had shocked the people.

He said this was especially so as Chong had recounted being accosted by a motorcyclist only a few days prior to his disappearance. The motorcyclist had advised Chong to be careful as many people had recently gone missing in the country.

Lim called on Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to give the issue his “topmost priority” and hold an urgent meeting with Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said action was needed to ensure Malaysia was not “in the trajectory of a rogue state” where people could disappear “into thin air” with the authorities unable to shed any light on the incidents.

“Such disappearances have never happened in the country in the past sixty years,” Lim said in a statement.

“What has happened to Malaysia and why are these disappearances happening now?”

Chong’s family told police on Saturday evening that they had not been able to contact him since he was seen leaving the house on the night of April 5.

In a Facebook posting on March 31, Chong narrated a “strange experience” he had earlier that morning when a stranger on a motorcycle stopped and talked to him.

“He (the stranger) said he sokong (support) what I do. He said ‘tapi mahu hati-hati… sekarang banyak orang tiba-tiba hilang. Mereka semua tahu mana orang tinggal’,” Chong wrote.

(“Be careful… nowadays a lot of people have suddenly disappeared. They all know where people live.”)

Chong’s disappearance follows the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was waylaid on a public road in broad daylight on Feb 13, never to be seen again.

Clips from CCTV recordings showed that Koh’s abduction was carried out in a professional manner by a group of masked men in Petaling Jaya.

Perlis Hope activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth have also gone missing without a trace since November last year.

Chong had reportedly attended a recent vigil for Koh.

Lim said the police’s inability to throw any light on the disappearances of the five raised questions about Malaysia’s security.

He said citizens, investors and visitors to the country did not have the assurance that Malaysia was a safe place to stay, visit or invest in, with people going missing “in broad daylight” and authorities being unable to do anything about it.

Yesterday, the executive director of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Sevan Doraisamy said having five such missing cases in just four months was a national disgrace.

“Any further delays in the search and rescue mission of the missing individuals would leave a black mark on national security,” he said.

“With the government aiming to become a developed nation, the state of human rights and civil liberties is supposed to be important pillars.”

Meanwhile, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 yesterday requested for an “urgent meeting” with Khalid over the disappearances of the five.