Malaysian Bar concerned over recent abductions

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar is deeply concerned over the series of disappearances of Malaysians since November last year.

"It is shocking and outrageous that a growing number of Malaysians could inexplicably disappear and not be found for days, weeks and months," its president George Varughese (pic) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The five Malaysians who have disappeared are Perlis social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo, and most recently, former PJ city councillor Peter Chong.

Varughese said this has never happened before in the country and as a result, has led to public perception and speculation on “forced disappearances.”

He added that the security of the nation is of utmost importance not just to its people, but also to visitors and foreign investors.

"The noticeable lack of information on the steps taken by the authorities to locate and recover the five missing persons is most disconcerting, and raises alarming doubts on the adequacy of the safety and security measures in the country.

"This is especially so in the case of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo, as his abduction was captured on video by several closed-circuit television cameras," he said.

Varughese urged the authorities to do everything possible to locate and secure the release of the five missing persons, adding that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

"Only concrete and clear action by the authorities will alleviate public fear and anxiety, and instil confidence in the safety and security of this country and its people," he said.

He also called on the police to provide regular updates on the status of their investigations.

Koh was abducted from his car by a group of men on Feb 13, and CCTV footage showed at least 15 men and three black SUVs involved in the abduction.

Police later said that investigations indicate his abduction may have been connected to his attempt to spread Christianity in northern Malaysia.

Amri, a co-founder of charity organisation Perlis Hope, has been missing for more than four months.

His wife Norhayati Mohd Ariffin said witnesses saw five vehicles box in Amri’s car before taking him away just 550m from their home on Nov 24 last year.

His black 4WD, she said, was found later near Timah Tasoh Dam with the windscreen smashed.

In the most recent case, Chong disappeared not long after posting an update on his Facebook page on March 31 about a strange encounter with an unnamed man.

Chong, who served as a personal assistant to Subang MP R. Sivarasa for a few years until 2015, said he was warned by a young motorcyclist to be careful because many people were going missing.

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