PUTRAJAYA: The home ministry will set up a special task force to investigate the conclusions of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that Bukit Aman’s Special Branch was behind the disappearance of two missing persons.
Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said his ministry took seriously Suhakam’s inquiry findings, which said that pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat had been victims of “enforced disappearances”.
“The report has been presented to us and we have taken a look at it,” Muhyiddin said.
“There were some points raised that we consider to be serious, especially where it shows police were involved in the disappearance of these two people.
“We have already decided and got the agreement of the Cabinet for a committee or special task force to look at the report,” he said when met at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
Muhyiddin said several people have already been identified to lead the team.
Six or seven people will make up the team, he added.
Those selected are being contacted now and are being given their terms of reference and for how long the task force will be active.
He also said that the task force would comprise police members as well, considering that they have the power to carry out investigations.
These police members, he added, will not be those directly involved with the case or those with a potential conflict of interest.
Suhakam, in its inquiry into the disappearance of Amri and several others, held on April 3 that both activists were the victims of enforced disappearances.
Koh was abducted on Feb 13, 2017, in Petaling Jaya, while Amri went missing on Nov 24, 2016, after leaving his home.
Koh was accused of proselytisation of Muslims, a claim strongly denied by his family. His abduction was caught on a closed-circuit TV camera.
Amri was reportedly harassed over his leanings towards Shia Islam, the school of thought which Malaysian religious authorities label as “deviant”.
‘Performance not up to mark?’
Commenting on veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin’s remarks yesterday that Cabinet members who are not up to mark should step down, the PPBM president said that was his own view.
“We leave it to those individuals whom he is referring to,” he said. “I myself do not know who he was referring to but if it were me, I would resign.”
The Pagoh MP noted that it was the prerogative of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to take any measures or action against members of his Cabinet who were underperforming.
Kadir, who is the prime minister’s special adviser on media and communications, had asked ministers, chief ministers and state exco members to voluntarily resign if they failed to meet the mark as he said one year was enough to learn the ropes.
He pointed to how Mahathir recently gave his Cabinet a 50% grade, an average score, as proof that the prime minister was aware of his ministers’ performance.