Cop says he questioned pastor’s wife for 5 hours on ‘proselytisation’

2nd Nov 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: A policeman, who was initially assigned to investigate Pastor Raymond Koh’s disappearance, told an inquiry that he quizzed Koh’s wife Susanna Liew on his alleged proselytisation due to his religious work.

Inspector Ali Asra Abu Bakar said that he had interviewed Liew on Feb 13, the day Koh was abducted, for over five hours, finishing in the early hours of the next day.

He admitted that his line of questioning was focused on the issue of proselytisation.

“I was told by my superiors to ask the questions related to Christianisation as the victim is a pastor,” he told the Human Rights Commission Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry today on the disappearance of Koh and three others.

When asked by lawyer Lim Heng Seng, representing the Malaysian Bar as an observer, if he planned and compiled all the proselytisation-related questions for the five-hour session, Ali said he could not provide an answer to that.

“This is not a teh tarik session. You spent about five hours with her asking about claims on alleged proselytisation but now you say you cannot tell us about the questions you asked,” he said.

Lim continued to press the officer on how long he intended to interview Liew for the day if she had not complained of tiredness. Ali said he too wanted to call it a day.

“I was also tired on that night,” he said.

He also denied that police had opened a “file” on Koh.

The public inquiry is chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Mah Weng Kwai, and includes Suhakam commissioners Prof Dr Aishah Bidin, from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh, from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.

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.

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.

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