Activist who 'disappeared' maintains he was kidnapped

Mr Peter Chong said that he was abducted while visiting Thailand.
Mr Peter Chong said that he was abducted while visiting Thailand.

PETALING JAYA • A Malaysian political activist whose "disappearance" caused an uproar in the country, but who then reappeared saying he was fine, maintained yesterday that he had been kidnapped while visiting southern Thailand.

Opposition activist Peter Chong apologised on his Facebook page to family and friends for his "disappearance" and said he had wanted to lodge a police report about the kidnapping in Pattaya, but was told to do so in Hat Yai instead.

He will now try to make the report about his abduction at the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur amid widespread scepticism that he had indeed been taken against his will.

Mr Chong went missing for 16 days from March 31, after telling his son that he was going out to meet an Indonesian friend.

Police say they had wasted resources looking for Mr Chong instead of focusing on other cases, including that of Pastor Raymond Koh, who disappeared five months ago. Their comments have raised speculation about Mr Koh's kidnapping by Islamist militants.

"I confirm the information released by Police Chief Datuk Amar Singh were accurate based on the statement that I gave," Mr Chong wrote on Facebook. "Details of me being held against my will, as well as the reasons, will remain as part of the investigations for the police to release as they see fit."

Police have said that they were told by Mr Chong that he was abducted briefly while visiting Thailand to meet someone who said he had information about the missing Mr Koh. The former Petaling Jaya city councillor thanked Thai and Malaysian police for helping him return to Malaysia.

While Mr Chong is now safe with his family, Mr Koh, two other pastors and an activist remain missing in high-profile cases that police have yet to solve.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Activist who 'disappeared' maintains he was kidnapped'. Print Edition | Subscribe