Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim says Pastor Raymond Koh's kidnapping is a matter of national security.
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo is no ordinary crime, but an act of terror, says Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim.
In a statement today, Sim said that as such, the security forces must be deployed to make headway in investigations into the pastor’s disappearance.
Koh was abducted on Feb 13 while driving along Jalan SS4B/10 in Kelana Jaya. CCTV footage of the crime showed a well-executed operation by masked men in seven vehicles, including two motorcycles.
The whole episode reportedly took less than a minute.
Koh’s son Jonathan has lodged two police reports on the abduction. He filed the latest report on Feb 27, stating his suspicion that his father had been murdered by his abductors.
Jonathan said his reason for the second police report was the lack of ransom demand or information, even after the family had offered a RM100,000 reward.
Speaking today, Sim urged the police to update Koh’s family members, adding that they had been waiting in suspense for 18 days now.
“While they may have tactical reasons to maintain confidentiality, I urge the police to at least update the family and not keep Koh’s loved ones in the dark,” he said.
“Information is important not only for investigators but also for the family waiting in suspense on this life-and-death matter for the last 18 days.”
Sim added that the pastor’s abduction was a matter of national security, pointing out the professional nature of the kidnapping and the fact that it had been done in broad daylight.
“If this can happen to a harmless and charitable person such as Pastor Koh, it can happen to anyone.”
He called on the government to deploy every possible security resource to ensure that the victim was rescued and the perpetrators arrested. In the tragic case of Nurin Jazlin, he said, police had even sought assistance from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Sim was referring to eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin, whose rape and murder shocked the nation in 2007.
“This is no ordinary crime, but an act of terror,” Sim said now of Koh’s abduction.
Koh, 62, was abducted by a group of masked men less than 100 metres from a police housing complex. He was driving a silver Honda Accord bearing the licence plate ST 5515 D.
The pastor had been at the centre of controversy in 2011 after his NGO, Harapan Komuniti, was accused by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) of proselytising Muslims, following a raid at a thanksgiving and fundraising dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.
Later, he received a death threat in the form of a bullet that was sent to his home, a close friend revealed.
Koh’s 61-year-old wife, Susanna Liew, is said to be deeply affected by the kidnapping of her husband. Her son Jonathan said she had gone to Singapore to stay with friends and to receive counselling for the traumatic ordeal she is undergoing.
On Feb 22, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said a special task force had been formed to investigate the abduction. He added that police had recorded the statements of eight people whom they believed could assist in the investigation.
So far though, there have been no leads despite the RM100,000 reward offered by the family for information leading to Koh’s whereabouts.
Police are said to be investigating the case under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping.