Yesterday (7th November), my good friend Rama was told to report to Bukit Aman police headquarters to record a statement. In his own words:
On 3 April 2018, after an 18 month investigation, Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) announced its decision that the Malaysian police force is behind the abduction and disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat and pastor Raymond Koh.
Immediately after the announcement, I was asked for comment.
I said the Suhakam commissioners had drawn a stunningly clear conclusion. I said they could do so because they knew what evidence was required to draw the conclusion and knew how to get it. I said one question remained unanswered: Who ordered the heinous acts?
I added the answer: “the deep state.”
However, the government and the police have shown little interest in finding the answer to that question.
The “task force” formed by the government to “look into” Suhakam’s report is a bogus task force. Why? Because its terms of reference are unpublished and two of its members have an interest in the outcome of their work. (They have conflicts of interest.)
The Suhakam commissioners also recommended establishing an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission with real investigative power, as also promised in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.
Yet, what we have in the IPCMC Bill tabled in parliament is a discipline commission, not an investigation commission. Thanks to “persuasive” police elements, the IPCMC is as toothless as the failed EAIC (Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission) and worse, limbless.
IPCMC officers do not even have the immediate power of the Inspector who confiscated my property yesterday.
Yesterday I was compelled to attend questioning at the Bukit Aman police headquarters about an article titled “This sister may have foiled an attempt to disappear her brother.”
The police told me they have opened investigation papers on me over the article. They told me they are conducting the investigation as a follow-up to a Jalan Tun Razak police report #10239/19 lodged against me.
They told me they are investigating me under section 504 of the Penal Code and section 233 of the MCMC Act.
The section in the Penal Code reads as follows:
504 Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace. Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine or with both.
When I read that, I wondered “who might feel insulted by the article and be driven to break the public peace?”
The answer seems obvious: one or more past or present members of the police force.
Those of us who know Rama will know that he is no shrill agitator. Quiet, polite and measured, he is gentle in the best sense of that word — strength under control. But he is also one who will not tolerate any BS as he seeks justice and truth in society. You have some idea of the difficult questions he has been posing to the relevant authorities from the quote above that was taken from his blog.
Rama is not stupid. He is not trying to be a hero. He does what he does from a deep commitment to God and to His desire for truth and justice. And he knew that one day he might have to pay a price for the things he does. After all, we live in a country where people have been kidnapped never to be seen again.
But he, like many others, has discovered that in the Kingdom of God, playing it safe is not safe.
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 25:24–30 NIV)
The thing is, we have no real evidence from the parable that the master is a hard man. It was the excuse the third servant gave for his inaction. The God of the universe is all-loving and all-wise. Instead of playing it safe we should be good stewards of the life He has entrusted to us and invest it for His purposes. In fact, in His grace, He is willing to accept what we can do — two fishes or five loaves. Or the relatively safe option of putting money in the bank to earn interest. But we cannot not do anything.
We live in a world where so much cries for our attention. We are all in a creation that is groaning for Christ’s return to finally make things right. In the meantime, where is God calling you to invest your life? He does not expect us to be foolhardy and chase danger for it’s own sake. But He expects us to be faithful and obedient, and sometimes that will mean doing something that entails risk. It may even cost us our lives. But that is still safer than playing it safe.