Suhakam to resume missing persons inquiry after MCO

PETALING JAYA: The family of Ruth Sitepu, who has been missing with her husband since 2016, was heartened by the commitment of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to resume the inquiry into their disappearance.

“This public inquiry is our hope of finding our sister Ruth and brother-in-law Joshua, ” they said.

“Our hope is that when the conditional movement control order in Malaysia is lifted, the inquiry can continue as soon as possible.

“We accept that the situation arising from Covid-19 has delayed the inquiry, ” they told The Star. Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph said they would wait for the government’s decision on if the conditional MCO would be extended.

“There are no dates yet. The Suhakam office just opened this week. We will finalise the dates by checking with the lawyers and the stakeholders, ” Jerald said.

Ruth, who is Indonesian, was reported to have disappeared along with Hilmy in November 2016.

Hilmy is a Christian convert from Taiping. Both were born in 1969.

The inquiry started in February but had to be postponed in mid-March after two Suhakam commissioners had tested positive for Covid-19.

The inquiry had heard about how Joshua had baptised people, with cases dating back to 2011.

He said they had set aside 15 days for the inquiry but this was just an estimate and depended on how the inquiry proceeded.

Last year, Suhakam concluded in their inquiries into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, saying that they were victims of “enforced disappearance by state agents”.

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