PM, stop the burial of truth in the case of Amri Che Mat – Caged

Family members of Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat

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This is a summary of an open letter to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim from Citizens Against Enforced Disappearance (Caged). Read the full open letter here.

We urge your government to stop burying the truth in the case of Amri Che Mat, who was enforced disappeared in 2016.

Here, we highlight several crucial facts revealed last week during a High Court hearing of a civil suit brought by Amri’s wife against 21 defendants including the government.

During the hearing, some passages were read out from the “Report of the Special Task Force” formed by the government to dig deeper into the finding of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that Amri was the victim of an enforced disappearance operation conducted by members of the Special Branch, Bukit Aman, of the Royal Malaysian Police.

In essence, these are the facts which were revealed on 20 March 2024:

Fact no 1: The Malaysian government attempted to block the release of the special taskforce report to Norhayati by classifying it as an official secret, although the report appears to be about incompetence and misfeasance, not national security.

Fact no 2: The special taskforce report says 13 days after Suhakam published its finding that Amri was abducted, the Attorney General’s Chambers instructed the police to reclassify Amri’s abduction from “missing person” to “abducted.” But the Attorney General’s Chambers, in the defence it filed, says Amri’s case is that of a “missing person.”

Fact no 3: The special taskforce called it “negligent” and “incompetent” the police’s failure to treat Saiful Bahari as a prime witness, potentially a prime suspect. Saiful was owner of the gold Toyota Vios which featured in the abductions of both Amri and Pastor Raymond Koh. He worked for the police as a ‘contractor’ for several years. The police said they couldn’t find him. The special taskforce says the Special Branch did not cooperate with it when it asked for information about Saiful Bahari.

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Fact no 4: The Attorney General’s Chambers contests the conclusions of the special taskforce, despite an officer of the chambers being a member of the taskforce and despite having signed off on the report.

Fact no 5: The special taskforce does not rule out the complicity of rogue elements in the police in collaboration with religious bodies or organisations. The special taskforce names at least ten persons, including three defendants from the police as individuals who “can assist with further investigation”.

We note also that the special taskforce report warns the government that if it fails to bring to account the perpetrators of the crime, Malaysia will slide into the ranks of countries in which people are routinely disappeared.

The special taskforce framed this warning using the principles of rule of law and fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Federal Constitution.

We call on you to demonstrate your commitment to the rule of law.

We call on you to act on the recommendations of Suhakam and of the special taskforce.

We call on you to establish a parliamentary select committee to receive feedback from the public about abductions in Malaysia.

We call on you to take all necessary action to restore respect for the rule of law.

Stop burial of the truth. – Caged

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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