KUALA LUMPUR: Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has admitted that police were slow and should have acted quicker in investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh.
Khalid made the admission when asked if the time taken by the police to record the first statement of the case from the first witness was too long and, therefore, not efficient.
“Yes (valuable time was lost),” he said.
When Khalid was asked if this was a lapse by the police, he said: “Yes I agree.”
Khalid was questioned on day three of the public inquiry into the disappearance of Koh and three others by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The public inquiry is chaired by Mah Weng Kwai, a retired Court of Appeal judge, and includes a panel consisting of Suhakam commissioners Prof Dr Aishah Bidin from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.
On March 3, it was reported that the police were looking at three theories related to the abduction of Koh, which Khalid described as personal issues, extremist link and a kidnap-for-ransom case.
On March 20, Khalid blamed reporters for giving too much publicity and speculation into the case when the police had no new leads.
On June 25, Khalid was reported to have linked the abduction to a human trafficking group in southern Thailand, and that police were working with the Thai police on the matter.
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 saw 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.