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Inquiry into disappearance of Malaysian pastor re-opened

South East Asia

Inquiry into disappearance of Malaysian pastor re-opened

Pastor Raymond Koh, missing for over a year. Photo Credit: change.org

The inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was kidnapped from his car in broad daylight by masked men on 13 February 2017, is to be re-opened.

The inquiry by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission was shut down in January 2018 after police charged a 31-year-old man with the Christian pastor’s abduction.

Police had been accused of not co-operating with the inquiry after refusing to hand over a diary containing notes on the case, while police officers escaped having to testify when the inquiry was shut down following the arrest.

After considering submissions from the police and lawyers for Pastor’s Koh’s family, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission has now announced that the inquiry will resume, dismissing claims by police that it conflicts with the on-going prosecution of the man accused of the kidnap.

Pastor Koh’s family have repeatedly claimed that police may have been involved in the professionally conducted kidnapping, while the wife of another missing political activist has stated that a police informer admitted that Malaysian police had been behind the pastor’s disappearance because he allegedly proselytised Muslims. Described as “a compassionate and very bold man of God”, Pastor Koh was known for his work among the marginalised urban poor in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur. There has been no news of the pastor since his disappearance in February 2017.

On announcing the re-opening of the inquiry, chief commissioner of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, Mah Weng Kwai, said, “The family has been continuously disappointed by the police authorities in the investigation into his disappearance. Where else or how else will they gain their right to remedy for a grievance allegedly caused by the state?”