Govt will not play favourites in investigating mass graves found in Perlis

Govt will not play favourites in investigating mass graves found in Perlis

KUALA LUMPUR - The Government will not protect or play favourites in the investigation into mass graves found in Perlis.

Action will be taken against all parties involved without exception, said Minister in the Prime Minister in charge of Parliamentary affairs, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim at Parliament lobby on Tuesday.

"This (issue) would be under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry. However, the Government will certainly take action against all parties involved.

"We have to remember that the Thai government has taken action, including arresting the Satun police chief.

"On our side, action will be taken against all involved. We do not play favourites. If it involves civil servants, we will take action," said the former Perlis mentri besar.

"The area is a place where I often climb although it has been about two to three years since I've climbed it.



"Even back then, we say a few shacks but we thought they were places for people to rest. Before this, Perlis has organised a daki-thon (climbing expedition) but every time we went up, we did not see anyone," said Shahidan, who is also Arau MP.

"I would just like to question the Forestry Department and rangers because it is a state park area.

"Why could the rangers not detect them?

"I'm asking because rangers are well versed with the jungle. Plus, the jungle in Perlis is not very big - it is on the border with the Thai forest reserve," said Shahidan, whose portfolio also includes security issues.

However, Shahidan was reluctant to point fingers to the rangers when asked if he suspected their involvement in the migrant trade.

"That I do not know. We will have to investigate. It would be unfair to accuse them. I would be sinning if I made such accusations," he added.

On Sunday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed the discovery of mass graves at human trafficking detention camps in Padang Besar, Perlis.

To date, a total of 139 graves spread over 28 human trafficking camps were found by the police.

Since May 1, Thai authorities have found mass graves near the border at Padang Besar with the discovery of 33 bodies believed to be migrants.

The camps were found on the hilly terrain near the Malaysia-Thailand border on May 11 during Ops Wawasan Khas.

However, it is uncertain if the bodies found were of Rohingyas or Bangladeshis.

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