FIND

PASTOR

RAYMOND

PASTOR RAYMOND KOH AND 3 OTHERS HAVE NOW BEEN MISSING FOR 4 YEARS

Pastor Raymond Koh disappeared on February 13, 2017.

 

Over the last four years, his wife, Susanna Koh, has been actively searching for her missing husband, trying to answer the question of where he is now. Because she has continued to speak out, and with the help of national and international media attention, the case has stayed active even after all this time.

Poster of Raymond Koh

SIGN THE LETTER

Please complete the form on your right to add your name to the letter urging the High Commission of Malaysia to get involved and secure the release of these four missing persons. 

If you would rather mail the letter, you can download it here. 

Write to Susanna Koh

You can learn how to write a letter of support to Susanna Koh. Click here.

Find Pastor Raymond Koh

To: Her Excellency Dato' Nor' Aini Abd Hamid

Your Excellency,

I write this letter to express my deep concern over the enforced disappearances of Raymond Koh, Amri Che Mat, and Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Sitepu, and urge you to take concrete and immediate steps to ensure enforcement of the rule of law and justice be handed down for them. The reputation of the Malaysian Government, and the Royal Malaysian Police, which has historically been respected for its competent track record in solving crimes, is at stake.

On April 3, 2019, the SUKAHAM released its final reports on its inquiry of the enforced disappearances of Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat. In his opening statement, the Chairman of the Panel, Dato' Mah Weng Kai, read from the report for Raymond Koh: "The panel is of the unanimous view that Pastor Raymond Koh is a victim of an enforced disappearance that took place on February 13, 2017 at about 10.45 am. The direct and circumstantial evidence in Pastor Raymond Koh's case proves, on a balance of probabilities, that he was abducted by State agents, namely, the Special Branch, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur."

Similarly, the panel found significant mishandling of any investigation by the police in all matters and found that "the public has very little confidence in the Police to abide by the rules and regulations in safeguarding the interests of the public." These cases have become a matter of massive public interest, both in and out of Malaysia. The world is watching to see whether Malaysia will show itself as a leader in freedom and justice or continue down the path of corruption.

I, therefore, respectfully urge that the Malaysian Government implement the full recommendations of SUKAHAM. In particular, the Malaysian Government should urgently ensure that the Special Task Force set up to re-investigate the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat as a case of enforced disappearance releases the long-promised report with the findings of its investigations to the public. The release of such report was promised by December 2019. Four years since the enforced disappearance of Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, the case is still pending and justice has not yet been ensured.

Recommendations

Furthermore, I respectfully urge you to take immediate measures to ensure that the rule of law apply to all citizens, regardless of their faith, and that the trust in the Malaysian Royal Police and Government can be restored. We recommend the following actions be taken:

  1. Urge the Malaysian Government, and specifically the Home Minister, Hamzah Bin Zainudin, to take immediate measures to ensure that the rule of law apply to all citizens, regardless of their faith.

  2. Immediately urge the Malaysian Government to ensure that the Special Task Force set up as per SUHAKAM's recommendation releases a report with the findings of its investigations. The report's release to the public has been now delayed for more than a year. The special task force was set up to re-investigate the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat as an enforced disappearance case and locate their whereabouts. Every effort must be made to track down the abductors of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat and bring them to justice.

  3. Urge the Malaysian Government to throw the entire weight of the Government behind locating and returning Pastor Raymond Koh, Amri Che Math, Joshua Hilmi and Ruth Sitepu to their families.

This moment in history will determine whether the world and the citizenry of Malaysia can trust their own government to enact justice.

I appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.

Respectfully,

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Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Sitepu have been missing since November 2016. No one has seen, heard of or heard from the couple since then. Amri Che Mat was last seen on 24 November 2016. His car was found abandoned with the windows smashed at a construction site at Bukit Chabang, Kangar, Perlis.  

 

Less than 3 months later, Pastor Raymond Koh disappeared. He was last seen on 13 February 2017.  A police report was filed stating that at 10:45 on the same day a car was “boxed” by three vehicles. The driver was seen being dragged out of his car and put in one of the vehicles. The driver is believed to be Pastor Raymond Koh. The abduction was recorded by a nearby CCTV camera.  

Susanna Koh and family
Susannah Koh has spent the last four years advocating on her husband's behalf

Joshua Hilmi, Ruth Sitepu and Pastor Koh were under scrutiny for their religious activities, namely proselytizing to Muslims, which is illegal under the law. Amri Che Mat is a Muslim, converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. He had also been accused and suspected of being involved in proselytization activities.  

 

The National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) conducted a public enquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Koh and Amri Che Mat. In its final decisions, SUHAKAM determined that both individuals are victims of enforced disappearance carried out by agents of the state, namely the Special Branch, an intelligence unit affiliated with the Malaysian Police. As a result of both inquiries, the government formed a Special Task Force to look into the matter and establish the whereabouts of both individuals. The task force was scheduled to publish a report with the findings of its investigations within six months since its creation, which was December 2019.  

 

In January 2020, Muhyiddin Yassin, the Home Minister at the time, said that the task force needed more time to complete the report and stated that he expected the report to be ready within a month. The task force has yet to publish this report.  

 

In February 2020, Susanna Koh, Pastor Raymond Koh’s wife, having received no updates on Pastor Koh’s case, filed a lawsuit against former inspector-generals of the police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun over the incident. Susanna’s lawyer, Datuk Gerald Gomez, explained that they could not wait as any action against the government and public servants was time-bound for three years only, after which no action can be taken against them. 

 

A SUHAKAM enquiry into the disappearance of Joshua Hilmi and Ruth Sitepu is ongoing, the final decision has been delayed because of COVID.  

Susanna Koh sat down with Open Doors Canada to talk about her husband, the ongoing search for him, and how she has remained hopeful over the last four years. Listen to the interview on the World Watch Weekly podcast.

Who is Raymond Koh?

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Timeline of events

Feb. 13, 2017 - While driving to meet some friends, Raymond is stopped by a group of men in three black SUVs. They lured him out of his car, into the SUVs, and drove away. The interaction is captured on CCTV.

 

Feb. 14, 2017 - Raymond's son Jonathan files a missing person report.

 

Feb. 22, 2017 - Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Abu Bakar (IGP Khalid) tells the press that the police have set up a task force to investigate the disappearance of Raymond Koh.

 

Feb. 27, 2017 - Jonathan Koh launches a second a second police report based on Section 364 of the Penal Code, kidnapping with intent to murder.

 

March 20, 2017 - IGP Khalid admits the task force is at a stalemate.

 

March 23, 2017 - Khalid tells the family to not speak with the press, as this "makes things difficult". He requests "no more media statements" and "no more candlelight vigils".

 

April 5, 2017 - A Malay newspaper publishes a report that in addition to the abduction, police are investigating reports that Pastor Raymond "attempted to spread Christianity".

 

April 21, 2017 - The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, SUHAKAM, announces an independent investigation into the abduction.

 

October 19, 2017 - Public inquiry by SUHAKAM begins.

 

January 16, 2018 - SUHAKAM reports that they have been told by police to cease the inquiry, because the police have apprehended an individual and are charging him for kidnapping.

 

February 13, 2018 - A prayer event is held on the anniversary of Raymond Koh's kidnapping.

 

August 27, 2018 - SUHAKAM resumes the inquiry.

 

February 13, 2019 - On the second anniversary of his disappearance, Raymond's family presents a memorandum to the Prime Minister's office, urging him to begin a new investigation.

 

April 3, 2019 - SUHAKAM releases its findings in a report, namely, that Raymond Koh was the victim of an "enforced disappearance" by the state.

 

May 23, 2019 - The Malaysian government announces that they will set up a special task force to investigate the enforced disappearances.

 

October 9, 2019 - Susanna Koh reports that 20 members of the task force had questioned her and her son Jonathan. "Their line of questioning was investigating us, not finding Raymond."

 

February 12, 2020 - Susanna announces that she has filed a lawsuit against police officials as well as the government over the alleged abduction by the state.

 

December 10, 2020 - Susanna interviews with US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), who have adopted Raymond Koh as their prisoner of conscience, which means more attention and international advocacy for his case.

 

February 13, 2021 - Four years since Raymond's disappearance.