KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) CCTV cameras along the exit route taken by the abductors of Pastor Raymond Koh were not working because MBPJ did not have sufficient funds to maintain them, according to the police.
ASP Supari Muhammad, who resumed his testimony on day five of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) public inquiry into Koh’s disappearance, said the faulty cameras had affected the progress of the investigation.
He was responding to questions from the family’s lawyer Jerald Gomez about the route the abductors might have used to escape, and why no CCTV footage was obtained from the many cameras there.
“We wrote to MBPJ about these faulty cameras, but they gave excuses that they do not have the money to maintain them.
“Yes, I agree that it would help us fight crime better with all these cameras in working order,” he said.
Supari was referring to the MBPJ and traffic police cameras installed at the junction of Jalan Majlis and Jalan Bahagia.
He said the police could not obtain any footage as all the cameras there were not working.
“The traffic police cameras are only activated when there are accidents, but in this case they were also not working.
“I do not know the date when these cameras broke down. MBPJ told me they were not working on the 13th (of February, the day of the abduction).”
Supari agreed that the only CCTV footage from the scene of the crime was obtained by the family and not the police.
He mentioned another recording that was obtained along the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), but said he could not produce it as evidence.
“There is a CCTV recording at the LDP before the abduction. There were three SUVs and two sedan cars, one believed to be the pastor’s car that could be seen.
“The time of this video was between 10.15am and 10.20am which is why we believe this was recorded before the abduction.”
Asked to show the inquiry the CCTV footage from the LDP, he declined, saying it was one of the documents of his investigation.
“This has been confirmed by the Malaysian Highway Authority. I can’t show the proof here. If I show you the proof, it will affect my investigation.”
When chairman Mah Weng Kwai asked where Jerald Gomez was going with the line of questioning on the route, the lawyer said the testimony by the police showed they were suppressing evidence about the incident.
“The police tell us all the cameras are faulty, they provide us with no evidence, their story doesn’t corroborate with the evidence provided by the family.
“How can we confirm anything if they say all the CCTVs were faulty?
“How do we know you had checked all the CCTVs if there was no evidence provided?”
The public inquiry is chaired by Suhakam commissioner and retired Court of Appeal judge Mah, and includes Suhakam commissioners Prof Dr Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida.
The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, activist Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
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 whisked 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. A police report was lodged in Klang but the case was referred to Petaling Jaya police as the complainant said the missing persons lived in Kampung Tunku.