I never claimed to represent families of Koh and Amri, says lawyer

Pastor Raymond Koh (left) and Amri Che Mat are victims of enforced disappearances, says Suhakam.

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer who is part of a group demanding that Putrajaya act on the alleged disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat has denied ever claiming to represent their families.

In a statement, Andy Yong, along with other lawyers and the Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), said their actions were motivated by a “genuine interest” in enforced disappearances as it was a matter of public concern.

He said this in response to a statement by Sheryll Stothard, who represents the missing men’s wives, Susanna Koh and Norhayati Mohd Ariffin, that the group did not represent the families.

Stothard said that Yong had never spoken to her clients at any time, from the day their husbands were abducted until now.

Yong denied that this was their intention and said Stothard’s call to him for further clarification was not justified.

“We would like to reiterate that we never once expressed or implied that this group is acting for or on behalf of the families. We as Malaysians are doing this for a good cause.”

Yesterday, Yong and CAGED spokesman Rama Ramanathan threatened to take the federal government to court unless the government meets two demands within a month.

The demands are:

The formation of a special task force to investigate what happened to Koh and Amri; and

A remedy to be provided to the two families, including firsthand information to be given them about what had happened to Koh and Amri.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has described Koh and Amri, as well as Pastor Joshua Helmy and his wife Ruth, as being victims of enforced disappearances.

Amri went missing on Nov 24, 2016, after leaving his home in Perlis, and Koh was abducted in Petaling Jaya on Feb 13, 2017.