Malaysia names task force members to probe ‘sensitive’ disappearances of pastor, Muslim activist

26th Jun 2019

Members of the task force were introduced on Wednesday (June 26) by Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, The Star online news reported.

“We at the ministry view the report in a serious manner as it throws serious allegations against the police to the extent that it has created a negative perception of the force who are entrusted to keep the peace,” Tan Sri Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by Malay Mail online news on Wednesday (June 26).

“The task force will investigate whether the police Special Branch was indeed involved but of course, beyond that, we would also like to find the real truth on the whole thing,” he told a news conference.

One of the missing men is Pastor Raymond Koh, the founder of Harapan Komuniti non-governmental organisation (NGO) and who has been accused of trying to convert Muslims.

He was believed to have been abducted by a group of men in Petaling Jaya on Feb 13, 2017, while on his way to a friend’s house.

The other missing man is Mr Amri Che Mat, co-founder of Perlis Hope NGO.

The Muslim social activist went missing on Nov 24, 2016, after leaving his home in Kangar, Perlis at about 11.30pm.

The issue involving their disappearances is sensitive in Malaysia amid claims they were abducted by the authorities. The incidents also raised concerns about rising religious intolerance in Malaysia.

Islamic authorities in the country, which has a Sunni Muslim majority, bans the conversion of Malaysian Muslims to Christians or Shi’ism.

The previous Barisan Nasional government had stonewalled queries by family members on the whereabouts of Mr Koh and Mr Amri, or whether the government had a hand in their disappearances.

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