Pastor Koh’s daughter: If you knew my father, you wouldn’t do this

13th Feb 2018

It has been one year since the abduction of pastor Raymond Koh, but his 22-year-old daughter Elizabeth still recalls how difficult it was for her to sleep for days after it first happened.

“I couldn’t sleep for many days, or I would just stay up until 7am and then I would tire myself to bed,” she said in an interview with KiniTV.

When the CCTV footage of Koh’s abduction was discovered, Elizabeth said she had high hopes it would help the police track down her father.

Exactly one year later, there is still no information about the whereabouts of the pastor.

“Initially, I had a lot of faith in the police. I really expected them to find him.

“It felt like my expectations fell,” Elizabeth said, wiping tears from her eyes.

Koh’s family had previously lamented that they have not been given regular updates on the case by the police.

A Suhakam inquiry into Koh’s disappearance had also been suspended, as a suspect had been charged in court for his kidnapping.

His family had pointed out that the suspect was previously only arrested for extortion and they were not informed about this new charge.

Even though it has been a year since Koh disappeared, they refuse to let the memory of him fade from public consciousness.

Elizabeth said it is important to “scream even louder” about her father’s abduction, especially considering that a few other people have also disappeared, such as Perlis activist Amri Che Mat and married couple Joshua and Ruth Hilmy.

“I just think about what my dad would want us to do and what we want to see Malaysia become is something more important.

“As I’m 22 this year, all my friends are like, come let’s just not live in Malaysia, let’s go live somewhere else where it is safer, where you don’t have to suffer.

“It really makes me sad to see that these things can happen in my country, and I want to be proud to say I’m Malaysian,” she said, her voice filled with emotion.

“We will not let this case die. We will keep the memory of Raymond Koh alive, locally and internationally,” added Koh’s wife Susanna Liew

She said she has had to take on the roles he had in the family since then, such as handling the family’s finances.

“I was just a normal, quiet housewife, and suddenly I have to do everything myself.

“I used to depend on Raymond to do everything, but right now I have to stand in for him. Even have to speak in front of thousands of people and engage with the press,” she said.

Koh’s family also recounted his various acts of kindness, saying that he was a very selfless and humble man.

Liew remembered the time he approached a “sad-looking” woman on the LRT and, once he found out she was a single mother with five children, helped her with her monthly groceries.

There was also the time he spotted someone who had owed him money, his daughter Esther recalled.

“So when that person saw my dad, he ran away but my dad chased him and then my dad hugged him and said ‘Never mind about the money, but how are you?”

Koh also once literally gave away the shirt on his back to a homeless man, said Elizabeth.
“There was this homeless guy who was shirtless on the street and my dad just took off his shirt and gave it to that guy,” she said with a short laugh.

“You don’t know him, and if you did know him, you would not want to do that (abduct him).

“If you talked to him for even five minutes, you would see that you shouldn’t have to abduct someone, even in that way, even if you were paid to do it,” she added with conviction.

Though Koh remains missing until now, Esther thanked the public for their support and care.

“We know we are not alone, so thank you to everyone who helped us to get closer to the truth of what happened to Raymond,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion towards the end.

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