PETALING JAYA: The findings of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on the disappearance of missing social activists Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh should be heeded, says the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM).
CCM said in a statement Friday (April 5) that the recommendations included the launch of an independent and impartial investigation, the provision of remedies to the families and to take immediate steps to clarify and separate the powers of the religious authorities and the police.
"Suhakam had to take up the inquiry in the absence of an impartial and serious investigation which the Malaysian police should have conducted as part of their statutory duty to uphold law and order in this country," it added.
CCM said that the government should also heed the call by Suhakam to respect freedom of religion as a fundamental right and also to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
"The Pakatan government in its General Election manifesto of 2018 had promised that the country will uphold the rule of law and that all citizens will be treated equal before the law.
"We call upon the Prime Minister to deliver on this promise and bring closure to this matter so that the families affected will find the justice they have been seeking for many years," it said.
On Wednesday (April 3), Suhakam had concluded that based on direct and circumstantial evidence, Koh and Amri were abducted by state agents, namely, the Special Branch in Bukit Aman.
Suhakam had initiated investigations in connection with these disappearances under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act.
Koh went missing in 2017 after he was abducted by a group of men while on his way to a friend’s house in Petaling Jaya.
In 2016, Amri, the co-founder of non-governmental organisation Perlis Hope, had gone out in his SUV from his home in Kangar at about 11.30pm when he went missing.
His car was later found at a construction site in the early hours of the morning the following day.