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Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?

 | March 2, 2017

It's strange that no one has demanded a ransom. Was he abducted because someone didn't like his work?

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It’s been more than two weeks since pastor Raymond Koh was forcibly removed from his car. Neither his family nor his church has heard from his kidnappers. No one has demanded a ransom.

Someone must know something.

Koh, who was on his way to see a friend, was kidnapped some time in mid-morning on Feb 13. The early Monday morning rush was presumably over when his car was surrounded by three, or possibly four black SUVs. He was bundled into one of the SUVs before the convoy drove away, with one of the kidnappers driving the pastor’s car.

The abduction was over in seconds. It happened on Jalan SS4B/10, Petaling Jaya, barely 100m from a police housing complex. The road was not deserted. Why did no one intervene, or report the incident to the police?

CCTV evidence and witness reports confirm that one of the kidnappers was seen recording the abduction. The men wore black balaclava helmets, and from their coordinated movements, the abduction appeared to be part of a slick, professionally executed operation.

Koh’s car, a silver Honda Accord with the registration number ST 5515D, is still missing. Has anyone seen it? Has the car been abandoned in someone’s alley?

Who is Raymond Koh? Why would he attract attention? Is it a case of mistaken identity?

In 2004, Koh was among philanthropists who set up a community centre in Taman Sri Manja to help single mothers, drug addicts and sufferers of HIV/AIDS. At the same time, he wanted to provide a focal point for children to do their homework, and a place where they could receive free English tuition.

Few people are as committed as Koh in helping these people, whom we would consider the marginalised of the community.

A few years ago, his Harapan Komuniti organised a thanksgiving dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church to thank the volunteers, leaders, supporters and members of the community who helped or who were the beneficiaries of the centre.

It was a peaceful charity event, but the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) decided to raid the premises, claiming the event was an excuse to convert Malays to Chrisitianity. Jais was wrong.

It was clear that Koh’s tireless efforts for the marginalised did not go unnoticed and someone did not like his interaction with the community. Soon after the raid, he received a bullet in the mail, presumably as a warning.

It’s tempting to connect the abduction to the bullet incident and the pastor’s work.

It is disappointing that so few church leaders or Muslim officials have demanded urgent efforts to find Koh. Are they afraid of the unknown?

If you know something, please phone the police with any information, however insignificant you may think it is.

Do not sit quietly or say nothing. Pastor Koh was abducted two weeks ago; you might be abducted next month.

Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.

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