Witness: Amri, Perlis Hope not a threat to country

Police witness Razman Ramli says missing activist Amri Che Mat did not have any firearms and was not involved in unrest.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Special Branch police officer tasked with checking the background of missing activist Amri Che Mat and the Perlis Hope charity organisation he co-founded said there was no evidence that the NGO was a threat to national security.

Razman Ramli, an officer involved in researching deviant teachings and apostasy in Perlis, said: “There is no proof they (Perlis Hope) were influencing people.”

He said this during the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry into the disappearance of Amri on Nov 24, 2016.

Amri’s wife, Norhayati Ariffin, had previously told Suhakam that the Perlis Mufti Department was investigating Amri in connection with Shia teachings.

Norhayati had said she was concerned about a Facebook posting by Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, who had posted that people in the state should be wary of Perlis Hope.

On Jan 23 this year, Asri had responded to Norhayati’s claims that his state fatwa office and Islamic authorities were among those she suspected of involvement in her husband’s disappearance.

Asri said Amri was a Shia Muslim who practised mut’ah, a form of contract marriage not recognised in Malaysia, which can be summarily ended with the consent of both sides.

He also said it was his duty to investigate the claim following “many complaints from the public” who had accused the mufti department of “inaction”.

He added that he was not out to stop Amri from practising his personal beliefs as long as he did not turn it into “an activity”.

“That’s why I went to his house. Not because I wanted to deny his freedom,” Asri was reported as saying.

However, the mufti denied any involvement in Amri’s disappearance.

Razman, during the inquiry today, was asked the reasons for police surveillance on Amri and his house.

Razman said they had been carrying out investigations on Shia activities since 2015 and whether Amri was involved.

“We didn’t detect any such thing in Perlis Hope.”

Amri’s family lawyer, Philip Koh, asked Razman if Amri had any weapons or if he was a threat to the country. Razman replied: “No.”

Razman also said that Amri was not involved in any unrest.

Amri went missing on Nov 24, 2016. His wife previously said that five vehicles had blocked his car before he was whisked away, some 500m from their home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.

Suhakam commissioner Aishah Bidin also asked Razman if there was any proof that Amri was involved in causing unrest in the state.

Razman said that there was no eveidence to show that Perlis Hope was a risk (to society).