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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I am disappointed with IGP, says Pastor Koh’s wife

PETALING JAYA - The wife of missing pastor Raymond Koh, Susanna Liew, has expressed her disappointment with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for investigating her husband's alleged proselytising instead of solving his abduction.

Liew said her trust has been in vain after she had read a report in a Malay daily on April 6 stating that the police are investigating her husband and unnamed others for allegedly trying to convert unnamed Muslim youths in Perlis.

"According to the IGP, Raymond is now being investigated under Section 298 (A)(1) of the Penal Code for trying to disrupt the country's harmony by using religion.

"The victim is being investigated? Why? How will this help find him or bring his abductors to justice?" she asked during a press conference at a law firm, here, today.

Also present during the press conference, were Raymond's daughters Esther Koh, 32, Elizabeth Koh, 21, counsel Phillip Koh, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy and Caged activist Thomas Fann.

Battling tears, Susanna said she specifically asked the IGP, face-to-face on March 23, to ensure the investigations into Raymond's abduction doesn't become an excuse to harass, investigate and prosecute him, his family, his friends and colleagues.

"What my children and I want most of all is the release of my husband safe and sound, and for his abductor and their accomplices to be brought to justice," she said.

While Susanna remains open to meeting the police personally to follow up on her husband's disappearance, she did not rule out the possibility that "people in power" are linked to this and may know more than they are admitting regarding the case.

"I cannot rule that out. Based on the way the authorities have behaved in the last 100 days, there is a possibility.

"This has also been expressed by so many people in public and private," she said commenting on the lack of progress in the abduction which happened exactly 100 days, today.

Given there is no significant progress by the police in the case, Susanna said she had no recourse but to appeal to others for help.

"On May 15, Suaram through International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) submitted an urgent action to the UN's Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, on my behalf.

"I am grateful that they have stepped up to help me on this," she said.

Meanwhile, Esther told reporters the last time the family met with the police regarding the case was on March 23, adding that she has been calling the police for updates about once a week since then.

"But whenever I ask for updates, the police say that there are no new developments," Esther said, adding that she last contacted the police on Thursday.

On the morning of Feb 13, the 62-year-old was abducted by a group of masked men less than 100m from a police housing complex in SS4, Kelana Jaya. Video footage from CCTVs in the area showed seven vehicles, including three black four-wheel drive vehicles, forcing his car to a stop in the middle of the road.

The drivers then used their vehicles to box in Raymond's car and prevent him from driving off.

A few of the masked men are seen swarming Raymond's car while their accomplices, including at least two on motorcycles, ensured no onlookers intervened.

Less than a minute later, Raymond is apparently overpowered and his car bearing registration plate ST5515D is seen being driven away, with the other abductors following hurriedly.

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