PETALING JAYA: The recent claims that there was a police cartel trying to control the force has prompted a human rights group to ask if this is linked to the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.
Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) said that although a high-level enquiry had concluded two years ago that they were likely abducted by the police, the report has not been made public yet.
The high-level task force comprising a retired judge and policemen was convened by the home minister in 2019 to investigate a finding by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that Amri and Koh were victims of enforced disappearance.
Suhakam declared that Bukit Aman’s Special Branch was behind the disappearance of the duo, after an 18-month inquiry that began in 2017. The families of the missing men have sued the government.
In a statement today, CAGED said the task force report ought to be released, in view of the current allegations of a cartel of dirty cops within the police force.
It said with such allegations being made, the image of the police has taken a beating and making the report public could help restore the force’s credibility.
The group said home minister Hamzah Zainudin, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Cabinet need to release the report to ensure transparency.
“We are asking if the same cartel is responsible for the enforced disappearances. The public must be given substantive reasons to believe that the Special Branch is not doing this to others too.
“That negative public opinion will continue if no action is taken against errant officers,” it said.
The group said too many things involving Amri and Koh have been shrouded in secrecy, adding that even the terms of reference of the task force were not known.
“In the case of Koh, someone was charged for his abduction but the prosecution eventually dropped the case mysteriously.”
A lower court acquitted former e-hailing driver Lam Chang Nam of kidnapping Koh in early February after the prosecution withdrew the case.
FMT has contacted the home minister and the inspector-general of police for comment.