SOLIDARITY WITH THE FAMILIES OF PASTOR RAYMOND KOH, AMRI CHE MAT AND PASTOR JOSHUA AND RUTH HILMY

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FAMILIES OF PASTOR RAYMOND KOH, AMRI CHE MAT AND PASTOR JOSHUA AND RUTH HILMY

We, the undersigned civil society organisations in Malaysia wish to express our absolute solidarity with the families, friends and communities touched by the following persons who were mysteriously abducted and remain missing till today.

1. Name : Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo (Aged 62)

Date of abduction :   13th February, 2017
Place of abduction :   Jalan Bahagia, Petaling Jaya
Organisation : Harapan Komuniti
Work : Social work helping single mothers, drug addicts and those with HIV/ AIDS.
Status : Still missing

2. Name : Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth (Aged 50s)

Date of abduction :   30th November, 2016
Place of abduction :   Uncertain. Last known location Kampung Tunku, PJ
Organisation : Unknown
Work : Christian pastor
Status : Still missing

3. Name : Amri Che Mat (Aged 43)

Date of abduction :   24th November, 2016
Place of abduction :   Bukit Chabang, Perlis
Organisation : Perlis Hope
Work : Forex trader and social activist who had organised charity projects for the poor, helped to build homes and donated rice to families.
Status : Still missing

What these abductees have in common is that they serve poor and marginalized persons in our nation. They are not wealthy. Therefore the motive for their abduction is unlikely to be ransom. No ransom demands have been made thus far in all cases.

Little is known about how Pastor Joshua Hilmy and Ruth were taken. However the abductions of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, were very similar. The abductors used convoys of vehicles and motorbikes. The abductions were executed rapidly and precisely. The videos of Pastor Raymond’s abduction show the abductors are very likely to have been professionally trained.

Despite the passing of months, the police are no closer to solving these crimes.

The abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh has been highlighted by media and concerned citizens from the day it happened till now. There have been reports and candlelight vigils throughout the country almost on a weekly basis. Four months on, the abductions of Pastor Joshua Hilmy, Ruth and Amri Che Mat, have not received similar publicity. They are all still missing. It is alarming that three abductions have happened over four months and the police do not seem to recognize and respond to the anxiety of all who live within our borders.

As members of Malaysian civil society, we call on the Royal Malaysian Police to allay the concerns of the public over general safety and security by :

1) Prioritizing the investigation into the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy, Ruth Hilmy and Amri Che Mat, by drawing upon all resources available to them.

2) Giving regular updates to the families and the public about the progress of their investigations. The police must demonstrate that they are working vigorously to locate the abductees and bring the abductors to justice. Regular updates about these cases of abduction will restore public confidence in the commitment and ability of the police to assure the security of social workers, their families and citizens in general.

3) Assuring the Malaysian public that no state agencies conducted the abductions.

We remind everyone and especially the authorities that Article 5 of our Federal Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to life and personal liberty of all persons within our borders and Article 9(2) guarantees the right to move freely. Since all abductees are people of faith, we add that Article 11(1) states that “Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it.”

To show our solidarity with the abductees and their families, we are calling for a solidarity vigil. We invite all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion to attend.

Date : 8th April, 2017 (Saturday)
Time : 8.30pm
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

Statement prepared by SUARAM and endorsed by the following organisations.

  1. ALIRAN
  2. Angkatan Muda Keadilan
  3. Article 19
  4. Asian Democratic Youth Network (ADYN)
  5. Bersih 2.0
  6. BebasAnwar
  7. Center for Orang Asli Concern (COAC)
  8. Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia
  9. Collective Teori Timur
  10. Community Action Network (CAN)
  11. Community Development Centre (CDC)
  12. DEMA
  13. Demi Malaysia
  14. EMPOWER
  15. ENGAGE
  16. HAKAM
  17. Harapan Komuniti
  18. Himpunan Hijau
  19. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
  20. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asal Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM)
  21. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  22. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  23. Johor People’s Action Group (JPAG)
  24. Johor Persahabatan Semparuthi
  25. Johor Yellow Flame
  26. Justice for Sisters
  27. KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee
  28. Knowledge and Rights with Young People through Safer Space (KRYSS)
  29. Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU)
  30. Lawyers for Liberty
  31. Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
  32. Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS)
  33. North South Initiative
  34. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
  35. Pemuda Parti Sosialist Malaysia
  36. Perlis Hope
  37. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  38. PROHAM
  39. Project Dialog
  40. Pusat KOMAS
  41. REFSA
  42. Sahabat Rakyat
  43. Sarawak for Sarawakian
  44. Sekretariat Anak Muda Sabah
  45. Sisters in Islam
  46. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  47. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  48. University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY)
  49. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ABDUCTIONS

Pastor Raymond Koh

Pastor abducted from car in PJ
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/14/pastor-abducted-from-car-in-pj/

Abducted pastor received bullet at home six years ago
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/02/23/abducted-pastor-received-bullet-at-home-six-years-ago/

Pastor Raymond Koh and Pastor Joshua Hilmy

Malaysian Pastors Are Disappearing: Why Is Our Government Silent?

http://www.xyz.net.au/malaysian-pastors-disappearing-government-silent/

Police clueless on whereabouts of another missing pastor and wife
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2195216

Amri Che Mat

Aktivis kebajikan hilang dekat Bukit Chabang
http://www.bharian.com.my/node/217148

Another man taken away, similar to how pastor was abducted
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/23/another-man-taken-away-similar-to-how-pastor-was-abducted/

Misteri kehilangan aktivis Perlis Hope
http://www.sinarharian.com.my/mobile/edisi/utara/misteri-kehilangan-aktivis-perlis-hope-1.597580