LIVE: Suhakam inquiry suspended after Uber driver charged with kidnapping

16th Jan 2018

Three witnesses are expected at the hearing today, among them former Petaling Jaya councillor Peter Chong, who has been recalled to produce his passports and tickets as evidence of his presence in Thailand.

Last year, Chong claimed to have gone to southern Thailand in April to seek answers on Koh’s disappearance and was abducted and held captive for a week there.

Koh was abducted from his car in the middle of traffic in Petaling Jaya nearly a year ago on February 13 in broad daylight. He was taken away in a convoy of black sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

There have been allegations that the pastor, who ran a welfare centre for the poor and needy, had been active in Christian proselytising, a crime in Malaysia when applied to Muslims.

The Suhakam panel aims to determine whether Koh’s abduction, as well as the disappearance of three others in 2016 – social activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Joshua Hilmi and wife, Ruth – are enforced disappearances conducted by the state.

The panel will also question a police technical officer on the close-circuit television cameras and video recordings of the route that Koh’s abductors allegedly took.

An Immigration officer will also be asked to verify evidence given by Koh’s wife Susanna Liew who said that she and her husband were stopped and questioned by Special Branch nine times at the Johor Immigration checkpoint.

The inquiry into Koh has so far lasted 11 days. After today, it continues on January 29 and 30.

The panel has heard from 15 witnesses, including the pastor’s family members, police, eyewitnesses to the abduction and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).

Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai chairs the panel that includes two other commissioners, Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleha.

The Malaysian Insight brings you updates from today’s proceedings:

12.02pm: Mah reads out a letter from the inspector-general of police, which said police have moved for the suspension of the hearing, according to Section 12 of the Suhakam Act.

“Given the circumstances, we have decided to cease the inquiry until further notice.

“I’m sure all parties would need time to research the scope or ambit of Section 12 of the Suhakam Act.

“We will continue with the other two cases of Amri Che Mat and and Pastor Joshua and Ruth Hilmy.

“The cessation is only on (the) Koh case.”

The inquiry ends.

11.20am: The inquiry takes a break and moves to chambers to discuss the letter from Inspector-General of Police Fuzi Harun to Suhakam with Koh family lawyers and representatives from the Bar Council.

10.55am: Day 12 of the public inquiry into Pastor Raymon Koh’s abduction resumes. The inquiry started late today after Suhakam commissioner and panel chief Mah Weng Kwai’s car broke down.

Mah informs the hearing that Suhakam received a letter yesterday that police had apprehended a suspect in Koh’s case on January 12.

Lam Chang Nam from Taman Sri Ampang, Ipoh, was charged with kidnapping at the Petaling Jaya court yesterday. Mah said this is the first time the commission is hearing about the kidnapping charge against Lam.

It was reported last March that Lam, a part-time Uber driver, had been charged with extorting Koh’s son Jonathan, of RM30,000 in exchange for the release of his father.

Lam pleaded trial to the charge of extortion. He was said to have committed the offence at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya on March 6. – January 16, 2018.

Link to the article found here: