Missing Malaysia pastor, wife often stopped by immigration, hearing told

Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh and his wife Susanna Liew.
Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh and his wife Susanna Liew.PHOTO: PASTOR RAYMOND KOH'S FAMILY

KUALA LUMPUR - Missing Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh and his wife Susanna Liew were frequently stopped by Malaysian immigration and referred to the Special Branch when they travelled abroad, a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry was told on Friday (Oct 20).

Liew, addressing the hearing, said he had been stopped nine times over the years as they tried to travel to Singapore, while she herself seven times, The Malaysian Insight (TMI) news site reported.

These incidents happened after Islamic authorities in 2011 raided the church where Koh was hosting a dinner with Malays in attendance, she said.

Koh was accused of proselytising to Muslims, a sensitive issue in Malaysia. He had also received two bullets in the mail soon after the raid, she told the hearing, as reported by the news site. The package also contained a strongly worded warning letter.

Suhakam, a body appointed by the government, is holding an inquiry over Koh who was abducted by unknown men in February, and the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat, Malay pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife, Ms Ruth Sitepu.

Police have said they are looking into the case but have failed to make any headway. Their unexplained disappearances have raised anxiety in Malaysia.

 
 

On Thursday, a witness to Koh's abduction, which occurred in broad daylight, said he saw several men wearing ski masks alighting from black vehicles in a Petaling Jaya street to snatch the pastor away.

The kidnapping was also captured in a security camera of a house nearby.

The inquiry was adjourned for 15 minutes on Thursday after Liew broke into tears when relating how she felt insecure after her husband received the bullets, the Malaysiakini new site reported.

Liew, asked if her husband's social work with Harapan Komuniti was involved with preaching to Muslims, said her husband had made it clear to the volunteers that there would be no preaching or talking about religion.

"The volunteers are from different colleges and from all races," she told the inquiry, as reported by TMI.

The inquiry is chaired by Suhakam commissioners Mah Weng Kwai, Aishah Bidin and Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh.