Home Minister must intervene in the abductions of Amri Che Mat, Raymond Koh — Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED)

1st Jun 2018

JUNE 1 — CAGED calls upon Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to intervene urgently to alarming revelations this week during the Suhakam public inquiry into the disappearances of social activist Amri Che Mat in November 2016 and of Pastor Raymond Koh in February 2017.

On May 15, 2018 Amri’s wife, Norhayati, made a police report in Shah Alam. In it, she reported that Sargeant Mohd Shamzaini bin Mohd Daud (“Sham”) of the Special Branch in Perlis came to her house about 10.30pm on 12 May 2018 to give her new information about the abduction of Amri and of Koh.

Essentially, in her extensive sworn statement to Suhakam and in her statement to the police, Norhayati said Sham told her he was revealing the information to her now because (1) there is a change in the government, (2) various police “higher ups” have already been named publicly during the Suhakam inquiry and (3) his conscience compels him to stop colluding with wrong-doing.

We recount here six claims made by Sham, who seeks no monetary reward: (1) Amri had been under police surveillance before he was abducted; (2) the Perlis police had planned to abduct Amri, but they were pre-empted by “Bukit Aman;” (3) the Investigation Officer in the Amri case gave false testimony to the inquiry about the involvement of a gold coloured Toyota Vios car which witnesses connected with the abduction of Amri and is seen the video of the abduction of Koh; (4) the “same (police) team” abducted Amri and Raymond; (5) Senior Special Branch Officer DCP Awaluddin Jalid (who had met with Perlis Mufti Dr. Asri @ Dr Maza in the days prior to Amri’s abduction, and was reported, in November 2015, to have publicly encouraged Muslim NGOs to consider how to resist  “the threat of Christianisation”) led the operations and (6) ex IGP Khalid knows more about the abductions than he has admitted during the Suhakam inquiry.

The 140 minute conversation between Norhayati and Sham was witnessed by one of her daughters. Within minutes of ending the conversation, Norhayati summarized what was said in three pages in her own handwriting in her notebook. Her daughter told the Suhakam inquiry today that she too made notes later, because “ini benda penting” (this is an important matter).

Also, minutes after ending the conversation with Sham, Norhayati initiated a WhatsApp discussion about the conversation with two of Amri’s close associates. They even convened immediately at her home to discuss how to respond to it — they only departed her home at 3.30am on 13 May.

Both Norhayati and her daughter observed that Sham was edgy, nervous and fearful of being detected. Norhayati told the inquiry that Sham placed his motorcycle out of sight of prying eyes and also spoke to her from behind a column such that he could not be noticed by any passing police patrols. (He was outdoors while she, a woman alone, remained indoors with her daughter. They spoke through an opening).

Today, the police told the inquiry that three days after Norhayati made her report and issued a press statement about the same, Sham made a police report in which he denied everything in Norhayati’s report.

CAGED points out to the Home Minister that the note-taking, WhatsApp conversation and late night response meeting indicate that Norhayati did not fabricate the conversation or the information which springs from it.

CAGED is deeply concerned that pressure may have been brought to bear on Sergeant Sham to refute what he very likely said to Norhayati on May 12.

CAGED notes that despite prior recommendations to the police to establish whistle-blower protection for police whistle-blowers (e.g. in the April 2016 EAIC report into the death in police custody of Dharmendran on May 21, 2013), no such protection currently exists.

We call on the Home Minister and the freshly minted Pakatan Harapan government to take immediate actions to provide protection and immunity from prosecution or disciplinary action to Sham and other potential whistle-blowers in these abductions.

This would be consistent with recent reports of the Home Minister’s willingness to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC, as recommended by the Dzaiddin Commission in 2005).

The Home Minister and Pakatan Harapan government must bring to a close once and for all this dark chapter in our nation’s history. The abductees must be found and justice must be served.

In the words of Amri’s daughter, “ini benda penting, kut.”

Issued by:

CAGED Working Committee

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