‘You want answers? You can’t handle the truth!’

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When the flurry of reactions to the Suhakam findings on the cases of enforced disappearances emerged, I don’t know why I kept thinking about this classic fiery exchange from A Few Good Men.

There are always some people who think we can’t handle the truth, whether it is the Council of Eminent Persons’ report, the Altantuya case, or whatever….

They think we can’t handle the truth. They think what they are doing behind the scenes is in the best interests of the people, for national security, for economic prosperity, whatever. And the rest of us … well the less we know, the better. Wrong.

In the case of enforced disappearances, yes, we want the truth. And we can handle the truth.

So best to heed the Suhakam report and get down to forming that taskforce quickly.

Perhaps this is an appropriate moment to highlight the concept of plausible deniability, not that it definitely applies in this case – we don’t know. But we should at least be aware of the concept.

Basically, it is when a senior officer or leader doesn’t want to know what his subordinates are doing, so that later on, he or she can deny all knowledge of or responsibility for any wrongdoing.

The subordinates for their part act somewhat independently. They think they know what their boss wants them to do or would like them to do, without actually being given a specific order. It reminds me of the case of Henry’s II’s knights killing that “turbulent priest” Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 because they thought that was what Henry wanted though he hadn’t actually give them such an order.

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The boss himself or herself is not informed ahead of the act – or doesn’t want to know – so that he or she can later issue a denial of responsibility that sounds plausible – hence the term plausible deniability.

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Roman
Roman
5 Apr 2019 10.05am

Fuzz was the Special Branch chief and Khalid was the police chief at the time of abduction. Both should face the truth and answer to the families in the name of God without fear.

Gerak Khas
Gerak Khas
5 Apr 2019 2.46pm
Reply to  Roman

Nothing will ever happen as Bkt Aman will protect its reputation. Sad but this is a reality.

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
7 Apr 2019 12.29pm
Reply to  Gerak Khas

Truth will never be known.

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
8 Apr 2019 12.24pm
Reply to  V Ramesh

Just like the disappearance of MH370.

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
5 Apr 2019 9.07am

The explosive findings of an inquiry released on Wednesday that implicated the police in two abduction cases has renewed calls for the government to form the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The IPCMC: What you need to know, and why it matters now more than ever
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/04/05/the-ipcmc-what-you-need-to-know-and-why-it-matters-now-more-than-ever/1739981

tunglang
tunglang
5 Apr 2019 6.14am

I believe the enforced disappearance was linked to religion-political bilateral self interest. It definitely was suspected to be ordered from the higher above to execute such daring broad daylight sin. To appease the religious fanatics who held the majority race by the bogeymen (Orang Minyak with Bibles) non-existence fear & control of election votes of the ignorants. With the GE14 approaching, what better way to delight such religious bigots?
…. irresponsible (quarters also) … saw no qualms to even bury a person in cement in an oil drum.

Don Anamalai
Don Anamalai
5 Apr 2019 2.48pm
Reply to  tunglang

Pastor preaching to Malays and they do not like it.

Wei
Wei
6 Apr 2019 1.25pm
Reply to  Don Anamalai

how do you know that ?

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
7 Apr 2019 12.29pm
Reply to  Wei

You read only NST?

Wei
Wei
8 Apr 2019 9.23am
Reply to  V Ramesh

what is NST? diapers ?

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
6 Apr 2019 10.49am

For the benefits of those who are too young to watch the 1992 military court drama film “A Few Good Men”, “You Can’t Handle The Truth” is a memorable quote by actor Jack Nicholson, which is often used to deny someone information that has been deemed too sensitive.

It is parodied bt Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons:

tunglang
tunglang
5 Apr 2019 10.40pm

Kidnapping was a crime liable to a death sentence. But now, Putrajaya wants to abolish death sentence in total, which to the families of Pastor Koh & Amri is a blatant injustice. Then might as well replace it with a life sentence without royal pardon + 100 lashes of the rotan to serve as justice.

Shriek
8 Apr 2019 11.14am
Reply to  tunglang

You still like death sentence?

Jordan
Jordan
19 Apr 2019 7.47am

The media backstory behind the 1MDB scandal:
https://youtu.be/Rfv2NDAMidc

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
10 Apr 2019 12.31pm

PM: Winning party picks new Johor MB, not Sultan
https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/471646

Can handle the truth or not?

Song
Song
9 Apr 2019 2.23pm

According to James Chin, who is the University of Tasmania’s director of the Asia Institute, the Harapan government must deal with the Malay agenda/bumiputera policy, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), political Islam and a clear timetable for the transition of power in the next 12 months.

https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/471484

Penang Waterfall Ranger
Penang Waterfall Ranger
8 Apr 2019 9.50am

Penang PIL and LRT receive approvals to go ahead

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/08/penangs-pil-and-lrt-to-go-ahead/

Penang Forum defeated?

Wei
Wei
8 Apr 2019 11.45pm

Penang forum can make noise..but they do not have the capability to derail the project…they simply do not have popularity among the people..most find them a nuisance…hehe

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
7 Apr 2019 8.06pm

For the nature lovers visiting Singapore:

Singapore’s upcoming nature attractions
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/upcoming-nature-attractions-parks-connectors-trails-singapore-11415202

Shriek
8 Apr 2019 11.17am
Reply to  Penang Tatler

Singland still can have nature? Peng land nature is more nature yet tung land and ngos screaming at peng land

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
6 Apr 2019 6.55pm

More celebrities are calling for a boycott of hotels owned by the kingdom of Brunei after it enacted new Islamic laws that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death.

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres and tennis star Billie Jean King are just the latest to follow actor George Clooney in condemning the harsh new legislation, urging the public to boycott nine hotels owned by the tiny Southeast Asian kingdom — three in the United Kingdom, two in the United States, two in France and two in Italy.

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
5 Apr 2019 3.58pm

Tun Dr Mahathir today announced Putrajaya’s withdrawal from ratifying another international treaty — the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

So cannot charge those responsible for forced disappearances at the international criminal court?

tunglang
tunglang
6 Apr 2019 6.32am
Reply to  Penang Tatler

Also, cannot charge someone for clubbing someone due to his poor anger control?

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
7 Apr 2019 12.30pm
Reply to  tunglang

Like that quite dangerous to golf at Forest City?

tunglang
tunglang
7 Apr 2019 10.36pm
Reply to  V Ramesh

You bet! Come to Penang’s golf clubs.
They are safe from someone who wants to be free to beat up people! And these golf clubs do not encroach on forest reserves or mangrove swamps which are not yet converted to royal lands!!!

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
9 Apr 2019 8.13pm
Reply to  tunglang

Quick recap – Mahathir’s first royal tussle
https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/471589

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
8 Apr 2019 10.36am
Reply to  Penang Tatler
Song
Song
9 Apr 2019 5.20pm
Reply to  Penang Tatler

Malaysia has given away immunity for the country’s rulers when it signed the Genocide Convention in 1994, human rights lawyer Edmund Bon disclosed today.

He told Malaysiakini that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) – which Putrajaya is withdrawing from – was just an extension of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/471534

glissantia
glissantia
5 Apr 2019 1.02pm

In fascism, the euphemism for this is “deniability”. This is easy in countries of over 10 million people or so, and very easy above 100 million. The psychopath sycophants try to impress their overlords by learning the hints, “reading their minds”, and deflecting any aspersion on the latter. The best case of this by far is the lunatic USA, which has become a menace not just to its citizens but all of humanity. In accordance with the religion of capitalism, much of the dirty work is privatised.

tunglang
tunglang
5 Apr 2019 6.31am

When the truth eventually comes out, we shall witness a greater national awareness (awakening) of such hideous acts against human rights, against fellow Malaysians that many will come out to condemn without fear. Never in the history of Malaya & Malaysia were such crimes committed by those in authorities & entrusted to safeguard the nation. We have seen many crimes of murders, kidnappings & grand stealings for the last 10 years under a leadership steering the nation to Hor Lan. Good riddance of a thick face, black heart, no-shame leader who may go down in Malaysian history as the first… Read more »

Penang Tatler
Penang Tatler
10 Apr 2019 8.33pm
Reply to  tunglang

“Never in the history of Malaya & Malaysia were such crimes committed by those in authorities & entrusted to safeguard the nation”. Just like in the Marvel universe where villain Thanos collected 5 infinity stones to make the Marvel superheroes disappeared in ashes, here we have MO1/Bossku in control of Felda, Mara, Tabung Haji, 1MDB and MAS (aptly mirrored the 5 infinity stones) and made our billions disappeared in thin air! Avengers Endgame premiers next week. Tun M is our Captain Marvel to crush the evil Thanos in Bossku, but the subplot of Absolute vs Constitutional Monarchy could be a… Read more »