Missing pastor’s wife says authorities using old kidnap case to stop probe

Lee Hwa Beng (second, right) at the launch of his book, ‘Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?’. With him are (from left) Damansara Utama Methodist Church senior pastor Daniel Ho, Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow, Koh’s wife Susanna Liew and Rama Ramanathan from the Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance.

PETALING JAYA: The wife of Pastor Raymond Koh has accused authorities of trying to cover up the truth behind her husband’s disappearance, after the home minister announced yesterday that the newly formed task force would suspend a probe into Koh’s case pending a criminal case.

Susanna Liew said the authorities were using the case involving 31-year-old Lam Chang Nam who was charged with kidnapping last year to “stop us from discovering the truth”.

“The ex-inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar and SAC Fadzil Ahmat, the head of the task force (formed in 2017 to find Koh) already exonerated him (Lam) from involvement in Pastor Raymond Koh’s abduction on March 15, 2017,” she said.

Lam was initially charged with extorting RM30,000 from Koh’s son, Jonathan, before the charge was changed.

Yesterday, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the task force might start with the case of Amri Che Mat, the other person whose disappearance was the subject of a year-long inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

“I find that unjustified,” Liew said during the launch of a book on her husband’s disapearence, “Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?”.

“This is a miscarriage of justice and the family will be relentless in our fight for truth and justice. We want to see closure. It’s been too long.”

She said the task force should carry out simultaneous investigations into Amri and Koh’s cases.

She also said the culprits behind the abductions of both men had used the same “modus operandi”.

Koh was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men on Feb 13, 2017, while Amri, the founder of NGO Perlis Hope, went missing on Nov 24, 2016.

In April, a Suhakam inquiry concluded that they were victims of enforced disappearance.

The government later formed a six-member task force to follow up on the findings.

Liew today said the family’s experience was “something like a roller-coaster ride”.

“I was very sad and disappointed first because he (Muhyiddin) mentioned that Pastor Raymond Koh’s case was put on ice or on hold because of the pending case of Lam Chang Nam,” she said.

The book “Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?” is co-authored by Stephen Ng and former MCA politician Lee Hwa Beng.

The book is priced at RM35. RM25 from the sales will go the Raymond Koh Book Trust.