Suhakam: Koh inquiry to resume

KUALA LUMPUR: Suhakam, Malay­sia’s Human Rights Commission, has decided that the public inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh (pic) will continue, and the news has been warmly received by his family.

Koh’s family lawyer Gurdial Singh said they were happy with the decision as the police request to abort the inquiry had been rejected.

“Our search for the truth will continue through Suhakam,” he said.

Koh’s wife Susanna Liew said: “I am really happy. I can at least smile after one and a half years of trying to find out the truth about what happened to him.

“I really hope that the police will cooperate in the inquiry and the documents will not be under the Official Secrets Act 1972.”

Liew also hoped that new Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would take this case “seriously and expedite the investigation”.

Earlier in the day, Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai concluded that the subject matter was “not the same” as the position taken before the court and the public inquiry.

“The panel hereby decides that it will proceed and continue with the hearing in the public inquiry into the alleged disappearance of Koh, notwithstanding the letter received from the Royal Malaysian Police involving the provision of Section 12(3) to cease the public inquiry,” he said.

He delivered the decision during Suhakam’s public inquiry yesterday on the disappearances of Koh, Perlis activist Amri Che Mat and Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Sitepu.

The public inquiry into Koh’s case was put on hold as a 31-year-old part-time driver Lam Chang Nam claimed trial to extorting Koh’s son, Jonathan Koh Szu Hao.

Lam was charged under Section 385 of the Penal Code with extorting RM30,000 from Jonathan for the release of his father.

Following Lam’s kidnapping charge, Suhakam “immediately ceased” their public inquiry into the disappearance of Koh at the request of police.

Mah added that the panel also had to deal with the subject matter of “enforced disappearance” to ensure that not only Koh had access to justice and truth but his family members as well.

“Hence, the public inquiry cannot cease to be a platform for Koh and his family to seek their remedy.”

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