PUTRAJAYA — May 9, 2019: A journalist testified that police were aware of the presence of the camps and graves much earlier than their Thai counterparts but decided not to disclose this to the public at the request of Thailand.
According to former New Straits Times journalist Aliza Shah Muhammad Shah, then inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar admitted this to her when she met Khalid at an event in October 2015. This was after he had ignored her telephone call and WhatsApp message to ask if police had discovered the camps and graves in January of that year.
She called and sent the WhatsApp message after she had surveyed the Genting Perah area to see the location of the camps and graves on August 8.
“Tan Sri Khalid said he read and understood the question but did not reply because he feared the screenshot of his message would be disseminated.
“Tan Sri then admitted it was true they had found the camps much earlier but his Thai counterparts had requested Malaysia not to expose them as they wanted to be the first to make the announcement,” she testified, adding that the admission was made after making sure there was no audio recording.
The public hearing on this issue is being heard by six-member panel led by former chief justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
According to Aliza, Khalid also requested her not to report the conversation because he had an agreement with the Thai police chief and if the news leaked his counterpart would be furious.
Thai police announced on May 1, 2015, the discovery of the camps and graves on their side.
When asked why she had posed the question to Khalid, Aliza said she wanted a confirmation because at a press conference on May 25, Khalid had denied the matter.
Earlier, NST-TV editor Farrah Naz Abdul Karim said she received instructions from senior NSTP executives not to do any follow-up coverage as instructed by recently retired IGP Tan Sri Mohd. Fuzi Harun.
The hearing continues on May 14th. — Bernama