PETALING JAYA: A group of 10 human rights organisations has called on the Home Ministry to revise the membership of the task force probing the disappearance of missing pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis activist Amri Che Mat.
Calling the task force "seriously flawed", the NGOs released a statement in support of the families of the two men who had expressed concerns over the appointments to the task force.
"The composition of the task force only seems to please the perpetrators and this is unacceptable," the NGOs said, adding that this will increase suspicion about the government.
It added that it is "absurd" that the task force will only begin investigating Koh's case, after the conclusion of the pending criminal prosecution.
In a joint statement on Saturday (June 29), the NGOs said the inquiry must be truly independent, or it will be seen as a whitewashing force set up to hide the truth behind the alleged enforced disappearance.
"As it stands, we are deeply disappointed with the Prime Minister saying he cannot please everyone with the composition of the task force," it said.
"It is not a case of pleasing everyone, but of prioritising justice for the family of the victims and for those seeking the truth and genuine closure in this case," it added.
It said the revised task force membership should take into account the views of the affected families and various civil society organisations that have been following the case closely.
The families of the two men had earlier questioned the appointments to the task force.
They said the inclusion of former Royal Malaysia Police Legal Unit chief Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Noor, a police officer who participated in the Suhakam hearing, affects the impartiality and independence of the task force.
It had been suggested earlier that a member from the Bar Council, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and a representative from a non-governmental organisation be included in the task force.
The 10 NGOs named in the statement are Engage, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG), Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, Pusat Komas, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Tamil Foundation Malaysia, United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM) and University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY).