Let task force members do their job, says Muhyiddin

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) says ‘one person will not be able to influence anything’. He is flanked by IGP Abdul Hamid Bador and Registrar of Societies director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim.

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today downplayed concerns over conflict of interest in the composition of members of the task force set up to investigate the disappearance of pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat.

He was confident the inclusion of Mokhtar Mohd Noor, who formerly led the Legal Department of the police force and was directly involved in the investigations into Amri’s disappearance, would not jeopardise the credibility of the task force.

“I have received more information concerning Mokhtar’s involvement (in the case involving Amri). He was present once during the Suhakam inquiry into the disappearance of both men, but he was not directly involved in the proceedings.

“I am confident this matter will not jeopardise the credibility of the task force. There are many members in the task force. One person will not be able to influence anything, if there is any intent to do so.

“In any case, a former High Court judge is the chair of the task force. I have confidence in them. Give them room to carry out their tasks,” he said at a press conference after attending the “Program Kelestarian Pertubuhan” at Rumah Puspanita here today.

Present were Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador and Registrar of Societies (RoS) director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim.

Muhyiddin was responding to criticisms over the composition of the task force from the families of Koh and Amri and a number of civil society organisations.

Amri’s wife Norhayati Mohd Ariffin voiced concern over a possible conflict of interest in the appointment of Mokhtar as he was directly involved in the investigations into Amri’s disappearance.

Koh’s wife Susanna Liew also took issue with Mokhtar’s involvement, adding that the task force’s line-up did not include “any woman or any other member of a different race or religion to reflect the composition of this country”.

The civil society organisations objected to the composition of the task force, citing “indisputable” conflict of interest and a “lack of will” to bring justice to the families of the victims.

Koh has been missing since Feb 13, 2017, and Amri, the founder of NGO Perlis Hope, went missing on Nov 24, 2016.

In April, a Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry concluded that they were the victims of “enforced disappearance”.

The panel also accused the Special Branch of being behind the disappearances.