pastor raymond koh

The police told a public inquiry today that Perkasa could be relevant to the abduction case of Pastor Raymond Koh but said the Malay rights pressure group had not been investigated.

Replying to a question from Jerald Gomez, one of the lawyers for Koh’s family, investigation officer ASP Supari Muhammad from the Petaling Jaya police headquarters said the police acknowledged that extremism could play a part in Koh’s abduction but it had yet to probe Perkasa or controversial preacher Zakir Naik.

“No, we have not yet but yes they are (relevant to the investigation),” he told the public inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on the disappearance of Koh and three others.

Gomez had told the inquiry that Naik had given talks and held a series of conversions that took place in Arau, Perlis on Feb 10, 2017, three days before Koh was abducted.

Gomez also said Perkasa was known to have defended Naik, who is wanted in foreign countries for various radical crimes.

When asked if the police were also investigating Naik’s activities or groups linked to him who had held a series of conversions of non-Muslims to Islam, Supari said the police had not.

He said extremism was a lead in the case but he did not see the point to investigate them.

“I take instructions from my superiors and any information I received (on the case). I did not see any point (to investigate them).”

“I agree (people with extremist thoughts should be investigated in relation to the case),” Supari said.

Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar had previously said the police were looking at the possibility of extremism linked to Koh’s abduction.

The public inquiry is chaired by Suhakam commissioner and former Court of Appeal judge Mah Weng Kwai, and includes Suhakam commissioners Prof Dr Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida.

The inquiry will consider, among other things, whether the cases of Koh, activist Amri Che Mat, and Pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth, were cases of enforced or involuntary disappearance as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Koh, 62, was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men in a convoy of vehicles on Feb 13.

CCTV footage showed at least three black SUVs were involved in the abduction. Many speculated that his abduction may have been connected to his alleged attempts to spread Christianity, although his family has dismissed such claims.

Amri, 44, who co-founded charity organisation Perlis Hope, has been missing since Nov 24 last year.

His wife, Norhayati Ariffin, said witnesses saw five vehicles blocking the path of Amri’s car before he was whisked away, just 550 metres from their home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.

Joshua and his wife, Ruth, meanwhile, were last seen on Nov 30 last year. A police report was lodged in Klang but the case was referred to Petaling Jaya police as the complainant said the missing persons lived in Kampung Tunku.-FMT

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