Christian Federation to help families of Pastor Koh and Amri set up meeting with Dr M

PETALING JAYA: The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) will bring the plight of the families of missing Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat to the government, urging that their disappearances be investigated.

CFM chairman Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim said following the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia's (Suhakam) findings, it will explore every avenue available to bring the plight of the families of Koh and Amri to the attention of the government, parliament and the Prime Minister.

"We have already engaged in a discussion with some Cabinet ministers and have had meetings with the Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) himself. (We) have brought up the issue of the disappearance of Koh.

"After this, we will also be writing to the Prime Minister to secure an appointment (with Dr Mahathir) for the families of this enforced disappearance," he said, adding that he would also try to bring in different representatives from various groups, such as the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) to go as a united front.

Leow added that the government must also take immediate action to investigate the Special Branch.

On April 3, Suhakam had concluded that based on direct and circumstantial evidence, Koh and Amri were abducted by state agents, namely, the Special Branch in Bukit Aman.

Leow said although it welcomed the announcement by Dr Mahathir that the government will open an investigation into the Suhakam findings, it urged for Suhakam's recommendations to be adopted.

Koh's wife, Susanna Liew, had handed over a memorandum to CFM, urging them to persuade the government to consider and act on the recommendations of Suhakam, on Saturday (April 20).

Also in attendance were Council of Churches of Malaysia acting president Bishop Ong Hwai Teik, CFM treasurer Bishop Aaron Yap, and National Evangelical Christian Fellowship chairman Eu Hong Seng.

Liew said she looks forward to Koh and others to be "released", so that the families may receive closure, adding that it was also hoped that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Koh's daughter, Esther, lamented that although drug traffickers, murderers, rapists and even terrorists have the right to defend themselves, but her father was denied his basic fundamental right.

"He was simply abducted by the police, the very people entrusted to protect us. We still believe that there is a rule of law in this country and the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Federal Constitution are upheld," she said.

Previously, Suhakam had initiated investigations in connection with these disappearances under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act.

The panel of inquiry comprised of commissioners Datuk Mah Weng Kwai as chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh.

Mah had also said that they would officially submit copies of the decision to the Prime Minister's Department, the Attorney General's Chambers, the Home Affairs Ministry and the police.

Koh went missing in 2017 after he was abducted by a group of men while on his way to a friend's house in Petaling Jaya.

In 2016, Amri, the co-founder of non-governmental organisation Perlis Hope, had gone out in his SUV from his home in Kangar at about 11.30pm when he went missing. His car was later found at a construction site in the wee hours of the morning the following day.


Across The Star Online