KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 ― Police are investigating a group for alleging that the authorities are involved in several cases of missing activists, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.
Khalid said the matter is being investigated under Section 504 (b) of the Penal Code, which deals with the intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
“This is a serious allegation and we will not allow them to take this opportunity to make baseless accusations.
“If you have evidence, bring it to us and we will take action. Don’t try to ‘spin’ the situation by making it seem as though the authorities are involved,” he said to reporters during a press conference held at the Federal police headquarters today.
The group, known as Citizen Action Group On Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) have previously claimed that the cases of missing persons like Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, social activist Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Raymond Koh can be linked to “enforced disappearances”, a term used for abduction by state agents.
Activists in CAGED will be questioned by the police at the Federal police headquarters today at 10am.
Khalid revealed that one suspect has been arrested in connection with the abduction of Koh.
“Last week, we have picked up a suspect from the north of the country and we believe that the suspect can assist in our investigations.”
When pressed by reporters on the specific details of the suspect, Khalid refused to divulge further.
“Let us investigate first,” he said briefly.
On February 13, a group of masked men abducted Koh on a public road in Petaling Jaya in broad daylight. No ransom demand has been made since then over the abduction that reportedly happened within a minute.
The Selangor police have formed a special task force to find Koh, while his family has offered a reward of up to RM100,000 for information that can lead to his safe return.
Today marks the 101st day since Koh had been abducted.
Yesterday, Koh’s wife, Susanna Liew, had expressed her disappointment with Khalid for investigating the pastor under Section 298 (A)(1) of the Penal code for trying to disrupt the country’s harmony by using religion, according to a report from The Sun Daily.
Khalid, responding to Liew, said that the investigations on Koh for proselytization was a part of their duty.
“In wanting to know the reason of his abduction, we also investigate reports made by other people who claims that Koh is trying to convert Muslims.
“That is part of our investigation. We have to probe all reports made by the public otherwise it’s unfair,” he explained.
He said that there were many distractions in the police’s initial probe of Koh’s abduction due to extensive publicity.
“I’ve already said many times, let us investigate this case. Because there was too much publicity, it had caused defects in our case,” he said.
Khalid also pointed out that the missing activists aren’t only of such cases in the country.
“Since 2012, the police have received 26,600 cases of missing persons, where 19,000 of such cases have been solved.
“6,600 cases still remained unsolved and 15.7 per cent involved those below 18-years-old.”