Suhakam set to hold inquiry on missing couple

Suhakam chief commissioner Othman Hashim (4th from left) with commissioners (from left) Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh, Lok Yim Pheng, Madeline Berma, Godfrey Gregory, Hishamudin Yunus and Mah Weng Kwai.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) is set to hold a public inquiry on the mysterious disappearance of Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Rudangta Ruth Sitepu.

“We have not closed our file on it,” Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai said on the disappearance of the couple.

The inquiry will be the third case of missing persons held by Suhakam after the conclusion of the year-long hearing on Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.

In April, the commission blamed the disappearance of the two men on the police’s Special Branch. Putrajaya later announced a special task force to follow up on the findings.

Mah said Suhakam had yet to decide on the composition of the inquiry panel on Joshua and Ruth.

Meanwhile, Suhakam chairman Othman Hashim said the commission will also look into the death of a Nigerian student who died under immigration custody last week.

“We are taking steps at the moment. Our complaints division will be going to the ground immediately to verify the facts before we can come out with a statement on this,” he said.

Orhions Ewansiha Thomas, who was pursuing his PhD at a private university, was picked up by immigration officers during a raid at an apartment in Selangor.

Suhakam said authorities should have alternative detention procedures for children detained at immigration camps.

Commissioner Lok Yim Peng said Suhakam is also pushing for these children to be given the opportunity to attend school and access healthcare facilities.