Indira confronts a state that enables kidnapping

“The High Court judge’s ruling was correct. The police shouldn’t allow him to get away with kidnapping the child.” - Current Malaysian ambassador to the United States Nazri Aziz on the S Deepa case (2014)

Does anyone really think that the state security apparatus does not know where M Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband and child are?

Does anyone really think that the police have carried out their duties when it came to returning this kidnapped child to her mother in a professional manner?

In this country, religious imperatives and professional duty are not mutually exclusive and there is enough evidence in this particular case to support such an assertion.

All we have to do is revisit the words of the top cop in the land when the case was in his hands in 2020 to understand the kind of political and religious malfeasance this mother was up against in her quest to have her child returned to her.

Then inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador said he not only knew where this kidnapper was but with the help of “senior politicians” was trying to convince this kidnapper to do the right thing for the child.

Former IGP Abdul Hamid Bador

Here was the top cop in the land saying that he was trying to convince “…him (Muhammad Riduan Abdullah) that everything must be done in accordance with the court ruling, and he must not be selfish for the sake of the child’s future.”


Can you imagine that? The top cop of the country tried to convince a kidnapper to return a child instead of working with the local authorities in the country this kidnapper was to extricate him and the child back to the country which laws he had broken.

Indeed, as former Court of Appeals judge Mah Weng Kwai said - “I am baffled because you have an order of the apex court of this country and the order was to the police to produce this person, and more so if you know where he is.

“(But you) don’t produce him and start talking about negotiations. I just don’t understand the reasoning.”

With all this in mind, if we didn’t second guess how the police were carrying out the business of the state, it says something about our reasoning.

We know that the police knew where he was. We know that the police and senior politicians were attempting to persuade him to do the right thing. We know that they obviously failed to convince this kidnapper to do the right thing.

We know that all this was done under a cloak of secrecy and that their main objective was not to retrieve a kidnapped child but rather to find a win-win situation.

We know that years ago the police decided to remain “neutral” when it came to orders from the civil and syariah courts which - as rightly pointed out - was complete bunkum by then-Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan.

“The police are taking the law into their hands... In this (Indira’s) case, the court order is already there but the police are not acting on it,” he said.

We know that the political apparatus chose to remain silent when the IGP decided to go on his neutral path as then-home minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi so elegantly put it - “no comment”.

We now know that what Hamid told the court - that he wasn’t certain where the kidnapper was - contradicts his statement about trying to coax Riduan to do the right thing with the help of senior politicians and that at least two former prime ministers were aware of his efforts.

Muhammad Riduan Abdullah

Hence with all this in the public record, can we really believe that there was no bad faith in the way the police had chosen to carry out its duties when it came to this kidnapping case?

Mind you, I think Hamid was sincere (if this makes sense) in trying to achieve some sort of fair deal for the mother but it wasn’t his duty to make this deal, only to return a kidnapped child to her mother.

A lost cause?

It would not surprise me if there were enablers, who are average citizens, conspiring to keep this child within Islam.

I do not think these people consider Riduan as some sort of religious martyr but rather they believe that Indira’s daughter belongs to them and their faith.

It pains me to say this but Indira’s daughter probably has been indoctrinated to believe the narrative of her captors instead of her mother.

This is what former foreign law enforcement types and cult deprogrammers tell me when I discuss this case with them.

“The longer the child is with her kidnapper, the child’s situation becomes normalised and with that, the actions of the child’s kidnapper.”

At every step of the way, Indira has met nothing but resistance from the state and a political apparatus, which has used her when convenient and discarded her cause when in power.

This is really about how this mother has confronted the state and the state security apparatus through its various permutations, which enabled the kidnapping of her child.

This is now the Madani state and there is no happy ending for this mother of a kidnapped child. - Mkini

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

Indira confronts a state that enables kidnapping