KUALA LUMPUR: Susanna Liew and Norhayati Ariffin have one thing in common. They are both hoping against hope for the safe return of their husbands, who were abducted just three months apart.
“I can identify with what Norhayati is feeling. And I feel as badly as she is,” said Liew.
Liew’s husband, Pastor Raymond Koh, was abducted on a public road in Petaling Jaya, in broad daylight on February 13, by a group of masked men. The entire incident, that took approximately one minute, was captured on CCTV.
Despite it looking like a clear-cut abduction, no ransom demand has been made for his release.
Meanwhile Norhayati’s husband, Amri Che Mat, a social activist from Perlis, was the victim of a similar well-executed abduction on Nov 24 last year.
“I can identify with her (Norhayati) because my husband has been missing for 54 days and we have received no news on who abducted him,” said Liew at Dataran Merdeka last night.
“There were lots of CCTVs, and cameras at the highway. It (the abduction) involved a large convoy of cars, but they (the authorities) still can’t find where the cars went.
“It’s very frustrating for the other families, just as it has been for us. I truly miss my husband, and my children miss their father.”
Around 150 people braved the rain to hear the pastor’s wife speak at a gathering titled “Di Mana Mereka?” (Where Are They?).
Organised by Suara Rakyat Malaysia, the event was held as a show of solidarity for the families of the missing Koh, Amri, as well as Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth.
Also present were former Bersih chairperson S Ambiga, opposition leaders Tian Chua, Teresa Kok and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, among others.
Addressing the crowd who gathered, Dr Dzulkefly said it was important that the public continue speaking about the disappearances, to show “the powers that be and the entire world that the people in this country will not bow down to the politics of fear”.
“Evil will thrive when good men, like all of you, sit back and do nothing.
“We can only guarantee safety and security when the people stand up, and say we won’t accept this. Especially when it involves the disappearance of those who have been helping others.”
Ambiga on the other hand, pleaded for the victims to be returned before the Easter celebration next Sunday. She also called for the public to “never remain silent” over these abductions.
“This is something you wouldn’t even want to wish on your worst enemy.”
The event lasted one hour, and ended with the crowd singing the patriotic song, “Sejahtera Malaysia”.