Malaysia opens inquiry into missing Pastor Raymond Koh, three others

Pastor Raymond Koh, was reportedly taken from his car by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 on Feb 13 while on his way to a friend's house.
Pastor Raymond Koh, was reportedly taken from his car by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 on Feb 13 while on his way to a friend's house.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A witness in a public hearing into the case of a missing Malaysian pastor who was abducted in February said on Thursday (Oct 19) that he had "stumbled" upon the abduction while he and a friend were driving to a crematorium on that day.

Pastor Raymond Koh, 62, was reportedly taken from his car by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 on Feb 13 while on his way to a friend's house. His silver-coloured car bearing the number plate ST5515D has not been found.

Law student Roeshan Celestine Gomes told the hearing on Thursday morning he first saw three big black cars surrounding a silver car in SS4 Petaling Jaya on Feb 13. Several men who were in the cars wore masks and were covered from head to toe.

Gomes said he then saw a struggle between one of the men and the driver of the silver car, adding that the windscreen of the silver car was smashed.

He said his friend who was sitting next to him had pulled out her handphone to record the incident when an Indian man approached them and stood in front of their car.

"He was agitated and pointed at my friend who put her phone down," the 25-year-old said.

"I reversed my car but he continued to come at us," Gomes said at the inquiry held by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

Gomes said he saw another man who was also recording the incident with a handphone and there were a few motorcyclists circling the scene.

He said the whole group later then drove away taking with them the silver car.

Gomes said after the incident was over, he saw shattered glass on the road.

He said he and his friend headed to the crematorium and later made a police report at the Kelana Jaya police station.

The inquiry viewed the video clips of the incident.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, who chaired the inquiry, said it was neither a criminal nor a civil trial.

The inquiry, conducted as per Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission Malaysia Act, also covers the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife, Ruth Sitepu.

Amri, the founder of NGO Perlis Hope, disappeared on Nov 24, 2016. According to witnesses, five vehicles boxed in Amri's car before taking him away at about 11.30pm near his home. His car was found later near Timah Tasoh Dam in Perlis with the windscreen smashed.

Pastor Joshua and Ruth went missing on Nov 30, 2016. Their last known location was at Kampung Tunku in Petaling Jaya.

The terms of reference for the inquiry were to determine whether these were cases of enforced disappearances or involuntary disappearances in breach of criminal, civil law or applicable human rights laws.