TTF: On the 2nd of January 2018, former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam welcomed the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the 1985 Memali massacre but said that it should only be carried out after the 14th general election.
“I am on record to have said that I have no problem and indeed would welcome the formation of an RCI on Memali,” he said.
For decades, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad maintained that he was in China when the massacre occurred and that it was Musa who ordered almost 200 police personnel to lay siege to some kampung houses in Memali near Baling, Kedah.
The houses were occupied by an Islamic sect comprising 400 or so people led by an Ibrahim Mahmud, known also as Ibrahim Libya.
The siege reportedly led to the death of 14 villagers and 4 policemen, though there are those who claim the death toll was higher.
Then, in March 2014, Musa shocked the nation by revealing that Mahathir was in Malaysia all the time and that reports of him being in China were fabrications.
During a political discussion held in Kota Baru, Musa said: “The darkest moment in my political career was Memali, I am being honest.”
To date, Mahathir has yet to counter Musa’s claim with concrete evidence of his trip to China, let alone sue his former deputy for defamation.
Yet, he seems more than willing to accommodate an RCI into human trafficking and the discovery of mass graves in Wang Kelian.
If he’s that transparent, why can’t he call for an RCI into the Memali massacre to clear his name once and for all?
PUTRAJAYA: The public hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on human trafficking and mass graves in Wang Kelian began today with its chairman Tun Arifin Zakaria giving the terms of reference of its investigation.
It was held at the Home Ministry’s Dewan Gemilang here, which has been converted into a courtroom, and began with an opening speech by Ariffin, who is former Chief Justice.
Arifin said RCI would act according to the terms of reference in its investigation, as well as look into the procedures implemented by the authorities during and after the discovery.
He said the RCI, set up with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last Jan 29, will study all documents and evidence on the human trafficking and the mass graves, among others.
“The RCI will also investigate whether improvements have been made on enforcement after the incident and also identify implications on the country after the incident,” he added.
Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai is the deputy chairman of the seven-member RCI.
The other members are former Head of Prosecution in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Datuk Noorbahri Baharuddin; former Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail; former Head of Research in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Datuk Junaidah Abdul Rahman, former Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussin and former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw.
In 2015, the country and the world were shocked over the discovery of mass graves and several transit camps in Wang Kelian linked to human trafficking activities, where a total of 147 graves with 130 human skeletons were found, which later led to the arrest of 44 foreigners.
The tragedy which involved victims from the ethnic Rohingya community from Myanmar and Bangladesh also attracted the attention of the international community.
The RCI hearing is assisted by two handling officers who will conduct the inquiry.
After the hearing session, Ariffin said the commission would submit recommendations to the government on actions and improvements to be taken and also a report of the investigation would be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The RCI proceeding began with the first witness, Corporal Mat Ten, from the Third Battalion of the General Operations Force in Bedong, Kedah, called to testify.