KUALA LUMPUR: A witness at a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry today said he first met the missing Pastor Joshua Hilmy in 2015 to seek “spiritual cure” and to stop “evil spirits” from disturbing him.
Iqbal Mirza Mohd Jalaludin said he was recommended by a friend to seek Joshua’s help but may have “accidentally” been baptised by him.
“I didn’t know what my problem was. My doctor told me I had high blood pressure and cholesterol problem but did not prescribe any medicine.
“I was confused, so I tried seeking medical treatment and spiritual assistance,” he said.
Suhakam is holding the inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua, a Malay who had converted to Christianity, and his wife Ruth Sitepu. Both have been missing since November 2016.
Iqbal said he had to endure “bad dreams” with “black evil spirits” disturbing him since his marriage in 2001, and had visited 10 ustaz (religious teachers) before meeting Joshua on Jan 1, 2015. He said the ustaz had failed to cure him.
“The disturbance was terrible, I couldn’t sleep at night. I met with so many people but still couldn’t get cured,” he said.
In 2014, he said, he felt unbearable pain in his right chest and “could see the evil spirits in my dreams”.
Iqbal, who lives in Damansara Damai, said he met Joshua at his home in Petaling Jaya on Jan 1, 2015, with his wife.
“I met Joshua to get cured, to stop the body ache. I had no other intentions,” he said.
He said Joshua may have used the words “baptise” and “Jesus” in his treatment.
He said he was given a bath to cleanse himself, and that it felt strange that a Malay (Joshua) was a Christian, but he did not inquire further as he just wanted to be cured and not converted to Christianity.
He said he met Joshua two more times to be “cured” but the chest pain continued.
Iqbal, who stressed that he is still a Muslim, was shown two baptism certificates bearing his and his wife’s name, but he denied that he converted.
“I have never seen these documents,” he said.
Witness met Pastor Raymond Koh twice
Iqbal also revealed that he met the missing Pastor Raymond Koh twice, in 2014 and in 2015. Koh went missing in February 2017.
“I met Raymond first in 2014, only then (did) I meet Joshua in 2015 ,” he said.
Asked how he knew Koh, he said he was introduced through Harapan Community, an organisation that helped people with diseases.
He said his wife had found out about the community over the Internet as she was also seeking a cure for her cancer-stricken father.
“We met Raymond and told him our problems, too,” he said, adding that Koh had recited a prayer for their well-being but did not suggest anything further.
He said Koh only referred to himself as uncle and he had no knowledge of the baptism certificates signed by Koh.
Iqbal also said there were still no signs of a “spiritual” cure, but he had recently been taking medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol and started to sleep and felt well.
The inquiry continues.