PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar welcomes the decision of the police former legal unit chief Datuk Moktar Mohd Noor to withdraw from the special task force to probe the enforced disappearances of activist Amri Che Mat (pic, right) and Pastor Raymond Koh (pic, left).
Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor said the responsibility shown by Moktar in withdrawing to resolve issues raised by numerous parties exemplifies accountability in action and set a sound example for all to follow.
"This is particularly important given the alarming finding unanimously reached by members of the panel of Suhakam's public inquiry into the disappearances of Amri and Koh - that both men were the victims of enforced disappearance at the hands of Special Branch.
"Enforced disappearance is a grave affront to the human conscience and has been described as one of the most painful crimes against humanity and a source of unimaginable pain for many families who often live their lives without knowing what had happened to their loved ones," he said in a statement Thursday (July 11).
Justice must be meted out and the perpetrators made to account for their actions, he added.
"Only concrete and clear action such as the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as well as a special task force that is independent, impartial and fully empowered to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation will alleviate public fear and anxiety.
"It will also instil confidence in the safety and security of this country and its people as well as gradually restore the stature and standing of the police force," he said.
The composition of the task force is of paramount importance, Abdul Fareed said,
"It must consist of 'independent investigators' and in the event there is any conflict of interest, they ought not to be appointed.
"Regard must be had to 'persons who have no current or past connections' with the criminal investigations conducted into the enforced disappearance cases or with any current or past member of the authorities involved therein," he said.
Any finding made by a task force whose members could be affected by issues of their participation in the inquiry panel, conflict of interest and partiality, would be inadvertently tainted in the public eye while its deliberations would be seen as questionable and lacking credibility, he added.
"On this note therefore, we welcome the recent appointments of Azian Umar from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Datuk Roger Tan Kor Mee, who is a member of the Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar to the task force," Abdul Fareed said.