Ambiga: If pastor’s actions illegal, take him to court

AmbigaKUALA LUMPUR: No matter what missing Pastor Raymond Koh and three others like him did, they don’t deserve to be taken away from their families with no explanation provided.

“Are they armed terrorists? No. They are ordinary people who helped, and did extraordinary work for the poor and the needy,” said Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is president of the national human rights society, Hakam.

“Of course there are a lot of allegations (surrounding their disappearance). If you say they have done anything wrong, charge them.

“If anyone does anything illegal, they must be charged and brought to justice, no matter how much you don’t like what they do,” she added.

Ambiga was speaking at a gathering in Dataran Merdeka here last night. The gathering titled “Di Mana Mereka?” (Where are they?) was organised by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) in solidarity with the families of the missing four.

The four were Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth, and Amri Che Mat. They had all went missing without a trace. Authorities have no clue where they are, or who had abducted them.

Koh’s wife Susanna Liew who was also present at the gathering, said she was sad and disappointed that the authorities and some members of the public are now investigating her husband instead of looking for his abductors.

“No matter what these four have done, they cannot be abducted in broad daylight. There’s no justification for it, no excuses.

“So we ask you (the attendees) to continue to support and pray for them, so the memory of them will stay alive and we will see a good ending.”

Around 150 people came to show support for the missing four. They lit candles and stood in the rain while listening intently to every speech delivered at the event.

Opposition leaders Tian Chua, Teresa Kok and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, among others, also came to show their support.

The event lasted an hour, and ended with the crowd singing the patriotic song “Sejahtera Malaysia”.

Koh and his NGO, Haparan Komuniti, were accused of proselytising Muslims, following a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) at a thanksgiving dinner in 2011.

The 62-year-old was abducted after a group of well-trained men stopped his silver Honda Accord along Jalan SS4B/10 in Petaling Jaya.

CCTV footage of Koh’s abduction showed a professionally executed abduction involving more than 10 men in three black SUVs.

Hilmy on the other hand, was reported to have gone missing on Nov 30 last year. He was formerly a Muslim.

Amri went missing on the night of Nov 24, 2016, and his wife, Norhayati Ariffin who lodged a police report the next day, said there were cars and bikes parked near their house when Amri left home.

There were allegations that he was a Shia Muslim and had tried to spread the teachings to others. His wife however, has denied the claim which she said was “all nonsense”.