Missing pastor’s wife, group deride task force as sham, demand clear-out

Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow is pictured with a copy of ‘Where Is Pastor Raymond Koh’ during the book launch at the Council of Churches Malaysia, Petaling Jaya July 3, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow is pictured with a copy of ‘Where Is Pastor Raymond Koh’ during the book launch at the Council of Churches Malaysia, Petaling Jaya July 3, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — The wife of Raymond Koh and the Citizens Against Enforced Disappearance (Caged) group told all members of task force investigating the enforced disappearance of the pastor and activist Amri Che Mat to step down.

They claimed withdrawal of former police legal unit chief Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Noor did not remove the possibility of bias.

“I want my husband’s case to be investigated and not to be put on hold,” said Susanna Koh, the wife of Pastor Koh.

“Suhakam has clearly stated there is no sub judice when Lam’s case was used as a basis to prevent the inquiry from proceeding. So why is the home minister using this very same case as the basis to prevent the task force from investigating my husband’s disappearance?”

After an extensive public inquiry, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) announced in April that the Special Branch, the special police intelligence team from Bukit Aman, was involved in the abductions of both pastor Koh and Amri.

The special task force on the enforced disappearances of pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat poses for pictures in Putrajaya June 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
The special task force on the enforced disappearances of pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat poses for pictures in Putrajaya June 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Suhakam Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai said its decision was based on the findings of its panel that had been looking into Koh’s abduction, which took place on February 13, 2017.

Koh’s wife insisted today that any former police personnel on the task force should be those with no links to the departments implicated, suggesting that former Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Datuk Seri Amar Singh as one such candidate.

Susanna’s sentiments were echoed by Caged spokesman Rama Ramanathan, who argued that previous high-profile task forces such as that investigating Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye and 1MDB did not result in positive outcomes.

He said they meant no disrespect to those in the task force but nevertheless considered it a “sham”.

Koh, 64, was abducted by a group of masked men while driving in Kelana Jaya, Selangor on February 13, 2017, while Amri, 44, a co-founder of Perlis Hope Welfare Association, disappeared on November 24, 2016.

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