Boot Pakatan out if IPCMC shelved, civil group urges

Thasha Jayamanogaran
Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) questioned today whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) will ever find the political courage to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) questioned today whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) will ever find the political courage to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Its member Rama Ramanathan said Malaysians should instead vote the coalition out in the next general election if it fails to enact the commission.

“Pakatan said that in their first term in office they will form IPCMC. Will Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin now have the political courage to change this?” he asked, referring to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his home minister.

“If they don’t... We should boot them [out],” he said at the Regional Conference on Victims of Enforced Disappearances here.

Rama, who is also a steering committee member of electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0, alleged that the police were behind the abductions of Pastor Raymond Koh, activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu.

“I was shocked when I learnt the police in Malaysia practises abduction. I met an individual who is a retiree from the special police force, who said after viewing Koh’s abduction video, he was convinced it was the police behind the act, as he was trained the similar manner to carry out the act of abduction before.

“He therefore agreed with me, that it looked like the doing of the police. All the abduction videos of the four individuals were done in the similar professional manner.

“The police can do whatever they want because we don’t have an IPCMC to intervene. It is not acceptable for the police to abduct people,” he told a crowd of several civil movements and professionals from other regions who shared their stories and views on the topic.

Koh’s abduction was a matter of concern for Christians in Malaysia because of his previous brushes with state officials, where it was alleged the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), accompanied by cops, had raided a dinner event of a welfare organisation founded by Koh, where there were Muslims present.

On November 24, 2016, Amri — a Muslim forex trader from Perlis, who founded a social welfare organisation named Perlis Hope — was also abducted near his home.

Amri too had a run-in with Jais in 2015, where he was said to have been counselled by mufti about his alleged Shiah belief — deemed prohibited in Perlis.

Aside from Koh and Amri, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu also disappeared in November last year. Hilmy was said to be a self-designated former Muslim evangelist.

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