4th Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: Susanna Liew, the wife of pastor Raymond Koh who mysteriously vanished in February 2017, has been named the International Woman of the Year in 2020 by the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards.

According to a press release by the US Embassy in Malaysia on Wednesday (March 4), Liew’s efforts in seeking justice for other members of religious minorities who disappeared under similar circumstances as her husband was acknowledged by the IWOC awards.

“Liew actively pursued justice for her husband and others during the Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) 2018-2019 public inquiry into enforced disappearances and continues to push the government to investigate these cases and prosecute those responsible.

“Despite police harassment and death threats, she continues to advocate for her husband and others, not because of her faith or theirs, but because of their rights as Malaysians.

“Liew and Koh founded Hope Community in 2004, a non-profit organisation that works with the poor, needy and marginalised.

“She previously served as a school principal and educator,” it said.

The IWOC awards, which will be hosted by US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo at the US Department of State, is an award to honour 12 extraordinary women in the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage of leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment at great personal risk and sacrifice.

Twelve women hailing from Malaysia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijian, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe respectively, were nominated for the IWOC awards.

Koh was abducted from his car by a group of more than 10 men on Feb 13,2017.