Perlis social activist missing for 4 months after 'abduction'

Mr Amri Che Mat went missing on Nov 24 after apparently being abducted from his vehicle just 550m from his home.
Mr Amri Che Mat went missing on Nov 24 after apparently being abducted from his vehicle just 550m from his home.

KANGAR • A Malaysian social activist from the northern state of Perlis has been missing for four months after apparently being kidnapped from his vehicle, with media reports saying the incident echoed the mysterious disappearance of a pastor in Selangor.

Mr Amri Che Mat, 44, is co-founder of charity organisation Perlis Hope. His family said police have not come up with any clue. His wife said witnesses saw five vehicles boxing in Mr Amri's vehicle before he was taken away.

Media reports of Mr Amri's apparent abduction drew a lot of comments on social media, as many compared it with what happened to Pastor Raymond Koh, who was abducted six weeks ago. A video recording from a nearby home showed Mr Koh's car being blocked by three vehicles before he was taken away on Feb 13.

In Mr Amri's case, his wife, Madam Norhayati Mohd Ariffin, said her husband was a helpful man who felt a deep sense of obligation to help the poor.

"I have heard people accusing him of being a Shia Muslim who tried to spread the teachings to others, but that's all nonsense," she said.

Madam Norhayati said witnesses saw five vehicles blocking the path of Mr Amri's car before he was taken away just 550m from their home. His black four-wheel drive was found later near Perlis' Timah Tasoh Dam with the windscreen smashed.

She said the incident happened on Nov 24 at about 11.30pm, and she lodged a police report the next day.

Another report was lodged on Dec 8 after she received statements from eyewitnesses.

She made a third police report on Feb 24 after receiving more information on her husband.

"We found someone who claimed that his cousin abducted Amri. We were sceptical until he mentioned that Amri was wearing orange slippers when he was abducted. He was indeed. But no action was taken," she claimed. Madam Norhayati is a primary school teacher and a mother of four children aged between 10 and 19.

"My husband has been missing from our lives for more than four months now. I miss my husband and the children miss their father," she said when met at her house on Monday.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Perlis social activist missing for 4 months after 'abduction''. Print Edition | Subscribe