KL police query social activist's abduction claim

Mr Peter Chong.
Mr Peter Chong.

Peter Chong said he was abducted while seeking info in Thailand on missing pastor

KOTA KINABALU • Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar yesterday asked why social activist Peter Chong did not share information he had on Pastor Raymond Koh, who was abducted in February, with the authorities.

"If he really had information on the missing pastor, why didn't he inform us? Why did he go there (southern Thailand) to look for the information by himself without telling anyone, including his family members? Is he an investigator?"

Mr Chong, 54, himself was reported missing on April 5. He returned to Malaysia on April 16, claiming he had gone to Hat Yai in Thailand to investigate Mr Koh's disappearance and that he was abducted while gathering information.

Tan Sri Khalid said the police will not be opening an investigation on the former municipal councillor's claim that he was abducted.

"We heard that he had lodged a report claiming he was abducted when he reached Thailand," he said, adding that Mr Chong did not tell police he was abducted. He also said police will record a statement from Mr Chong to verify his claims.

Meanwhile, Hat Yai's police chief, Colonel Kittichai Sankatavorn, yesterday said there has been no report on Mr Chong's claims that he was kidnapped in the town and taken to Pattaya. Mr Chong disappeared not long after posting on his Facebook page that he had been warned by a young motorcyclist to be careful because many people were going missing.

WHY KEEP QUIET?

Why did he go there to look for the information by himself without telling anyone, including his family members? Is he an investigator?

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE KHALID ABU BAKAR, on Mr Peter Chong, who said he was abducted when he went to Thailand to seek information on Pastor Raymond Koh, who is missing.

Before his reappearance, Mr Chong was one of five "missing" Malaysians who had sparked public concern amid speculation that they were kidnapped, possibly by Muslim vigilantes.

Mr Koh's disappearance is the only one among them to be classified by the police as an abduction. CCTV footage believed to be of his abduction shows Mr Koh, 62, being taken from his car in broad daylight by at least 15 men in three black SUVs in what appeared to be a professionally executed operation.

The other missing persons are two pastors - Mr Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth - and Perlis Hope charity founder Amri Che Mat.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2017, with the headline 'KL police query social activist's abduction claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe