'Missing' activist back in KL from Pattaya

Mr Peter Chong (right) at Kuala Lumpur airport yesterday, after flying in from Thailand.
Mr Peter Chong (right) at Kuala Lumpur airport yesterday, after flying in from Thailand.PHOTO: TWITTER/MALAYSIAN POLICE CHIEF KHALID ABU BAKAR

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian social activist Peter Chong, who went missing for nearly two weeks, flew in from Thailand yesterday, claiming he had been kidnapped briefly in the neighbouring country.

Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar posted two photos of the former Selangor town councillor clad in a pair of shorts and a blue T-shirt at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Mr Chong, aged 54, was one of the five "missing" Malaysians who had attracted widespread public concern recently amid speculation about kidnappings, possibly by Muslim vigilantes.

Tan Sri Khalid wrote about the return on his Twitter account, congratulating the police, and added: "'Missing' Peter Chong is back from Pattaya, this afternoon."

He told the media that Mr Chong was being questioned at the airport itself about what had happened.

The unexplained disappearances of the five people - three Christian pastors and two social activists - have raised alarm as the police have not given any clue to what happened to them, except in the case of Mr Chong.

Mr Khalid said recently that Mr Chong had crossed the border into Thailand by bus on April 7, via the Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration checkpoint in Perlis.

Mr Chong disappeared not long after posting an update on his Facebook page on March 31 that he had been warned by a young motorcyclist to be careful because many people were going missing.

The police acknowledged that only Pastor Raymond Koh had been abducted on Feb 13. Videos went viral of his kidnapping after his car was stopped by three black sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Mr Chong claimed he went to Hat Yai to meet a source about Mr Koh's whereabouts, but was himself abducted and moved to Pattaya before being released, the New Straits Times reported on its website yesterday, quoting Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh Ishar Singh.

The police later reunited Mr Chong with his family, Malaysian media reported.

Two other pastors, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, disappeared late last year, while Perlis Hope charity founder Amri Che Mat has been missing since November.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2017, with the headline ''Missing' activist back in KL from Pattaya'. Print Edition | Subscribe