Penang Bishop calls for accountability over enforced disappearances

The families of pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat attend the announcement of Suhakam’s public inquiry findings into their disappearances in Kuala Lumpur April 3, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The families of pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat attend the announcement of Suhakam’s public inquiry findings into their disappearances in Kuala Lumpur April 3, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

GEORGE TOWN, April 11 — Penang Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop, Sebastian Francis, has called for accountability from the authorities over the enforced disappearances of several individuals as revealed by Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

He said there must be an enquiry into the enforced disappearances.

“There has to be accountability on the part of the authorities to give a rational explanation that is acceptable to the people at large for what happened,” he said when met after an event at the Catholic Diocesan Centre.

He said the concern is not only for pastor Raymond Koh, who went missing in 2017, but also for the enforced disappearances of other individuals mentioned by Suhakam.

“At the MCCBHST level, we are concerned about all those who are missing,” he said, referring to the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBHST).

He commended Suhakam for its revelation on the disappearances and hoped the authorities will follow up on it.

Last week, a public enquiry by Suhakam revealed that Koh and activist Amri Che Mat were victims of enforced disappearance.

Suhakam determined that state-hired agents carried out the enforced disappearances of Amri and Koh in November 2016 and February 2017 respectively.

In response, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said new investigations will be opened based on Suhakam’s report but only after Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun retires next month as inspector-general of police.