PETALING JAYA: Klang MP Charles Santiago said Putrajaya should have the decency to get to the bottom of the disappearance of pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat, even if it means acknowledging that the police played a pivotal role in the affair.
Santiago reminded the Pakatan Harapan government that it was elected to power on the premise of reform and inclusion.
Joining the protest against the composition of the task force formed to investigate the duo’s disappearance, he said it was disturbing that even leaders like Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had dismissed concerns of conflict of interest raised by the civil society.
“Didn’t we, the lawmakers and Cabinet members who were once the opposition, vehemently condemn such atrocities (forced disappearances) under the former Umno-led government?
“Has the cat got our tongue now?” he asked in a statement today.
Santiago said it was ridiculous that the task force was made up of police officers or those who had worked with the police.
“It’s a conflict of interest and insults the family members who have suffered for years. Why are the police investigating themselves?” he said.
He said one of the task force members, Mokhtar Mohd Noor, was a former police legal division head and had a direct interest in the Suhakam inquiry into the case, having made submissions on behalf of the police during the hearing.
Another, Zamri Yahya, was Bukit Aman’s Integrity and Standard Compliance Department director.
“How do you expect us to believe it will be independent, impartial or credible?” he asked.
Santiago also highlighted Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement about upholding the rule of law.
“This task force reflects anything but that. Mahathir has also been saying that we cannot be fair to everyone. Unfortunately, this is not about being fair but about having the political will to actually find out what happened to Koh and Amri.
“And the decency to get to the bottom of it, even if it means acknowledging that the police played a pivotal role in the enforced disappearances.”
He said the families of both men had suffered enough.
“The least we could do is to respect the people who believed us enough to vote for us.
“We can start by taking into account the suggestions by both families to include a member from the Bar Council, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and a representative from a non-governmental organisation.
“Anything else will only raise questions if the government is really interested in getting to the truth,” he said.