Suhakam to investigate disappearance of Pastor Raymond, 3 others

Razali-IsmailPETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) says it will investigate the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and three others who went missing last year.

In a statement issued by its chairman Razali Ismail, the commission said much remained to be done in the cases of Koh, Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Hilmi.

“All direct victims and their families have the right to know the truth, to have effective access to justice and to obtain redress,” it said.

“The right to know the truth, which is the core of the issue, has an individual and collective dimension and the public at large are entitled to know about the circumstances of the missing persons.”

Koh, 62, was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men in a convoy of vehicles on Feb 13.

CCTV footage showed at least three black SUVs were involved in the abduction. Many speculated that his abduction might have been connected to his alleged attempt to spread Christianity, although his family has dismissed such claims.

Social activist Amri, 44, who co-founded charity organisation Perlis Hope, has been missing since Nov 24 last year.

His wife, Norhayati Ariffin, said witnesses had seen five vehicles blocking the path of Amri’s car before he was taken away just 550 metres from their home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.

Joshua and his wife Ruth, meanwhile, were last seen on Nov 30 last year.

Suhakam said individuals with relevant and important information should come forward to have their statements recorded from now until July 7.

Statements can also be recorded through phone for individuals who contact Suhakam’s Complaints Division at 019-3338490.

“With relevant information from the public and our continuing investigation, it is the intention of Suhakam to use this information to take the process further,” it said.

Suhakam also called on the authorities to “fully and expeditiously” investigate all cases where there is reasonable suspicion that an enforced disappearance may have occurred.

It said ready availability of information on issues of public concern is of vital importance in a democratic society with an avowed commitment to transparency.