Witness on why he took Joshua’s things

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness staying with Pastor Joshua Hilmy said that he took some of his personal belongings for safekeeping in case the latter got into trouble, a Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry heard.

Josiahnandan Emmanuel Peter, 25, said he and his sister collected the items in April 2017 before moving out from Joshua’s house in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya.

At that time, Joshua and his wife Ruth Sitepu had not been seen for about six months.

“We took the documents in case something happened to him, ” he told the inquiry yesterday, which resumed six months after it was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Josiahnandan and his sister Grace Thangamalar used to live with the couple when they were studying in college from 2014 to 2017.

The items were kept in Josiahnandan’s room at his home in Klang before they were handed to lawyer Philip Koh in February of this year.

The items included documents, letters, printouts of emails, certificates and personal artefacts.

The inquiry was shown a printout of an email thread and also a letter, both which warned Joshua about his “negative” attitude.

“Don’t blame me if you are detained by them. I have done my job by contacting you, ” read an excerpt of one of the emails.

Ruth’s family said she had not responded to any of their messages or calls since November 2016.

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

The couple were said to have married according to Batak customs in 2006 before moving to Malaysia a year later.

Joshua, who is from Taiping, was a Muslim before converting to Christianity.

The panel of inquiry is chaired by commissioner Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus and assisted by commissioners Dr Madeline Berma and Jerald Joseph.

The hearings commenced from Feb 18 at the Suhakam headquarters in Kuala Lumpur before they were halted in March.

In April of last year, a Suhakam inquiry concluded that Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat were victims of “enforced disappearance by state agents”.

In announcing the findings of the public inquiry on April 3, Suhakam had said there was “direct and circumstantial evidence which proves, on balance of probabilities, that he was abducted by state agents, by Special Branch, Bukit Aman”.

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