Pastor Raymond Koh and companions – where are they?

24th Jun 2018

WITHIN 10 days of the first term of office of the present federal administration, two important government departments – Immigration and Police – are to be revamped. So said the newly-minted Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin as reported by Bernama on Monday.

According to the minister, there have been a lot of complaints against these departments, which fall under the purview of his ministry.

The complaints must be looked into fast if members of the public are to retain their confidence and trust in the ministry itself.

Muhyddin should know what he is talking about, having been there himself in the inner sanctum of the previous government. It was during this time that Pastor Koh and three other companions had disappeared without a trace.

Rule of law

Any department or agency which relies for its life and sustainability on funding from the taxpayers’ money must have the confidence of its funders. It must justify its raison d’etre (of its existence).

The people are the stakeholders and as such are entitled to enjoy the benefits of their services and the protection by their government.

The Police department, for instance, is looked upon as the keeper of law and order inside the country and the Immigration department is the guarantor of security of the country’s borders.

Any complaint with regards to their alleged ineffectiveness in carrying out their respective duties must be treated with seriousness and appropriate action to be taken by the ministry in charge, for the sake of good governance.

The minister has assured us that he will do just that after he briefs the Prime Minister of his proposal to revamp the departments.

That’s a hallmark of good governance. And good governance means a strict observation of the rule of law as the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir, has repeatedly stressed that his administration would abide by.

The Police

Talking about effective police work in terms of observing the rule of law, one wonders if their investigations into the missing Pastor Koh and his friends have produced any result at all. It has been all silence, signifying something inexplicable!

The last we heard about the disappearances of Pastor Koh and three others was the statement made by the then inspector-general of police (IGP) to the effect that the Christian preacher and followers had been abducted.

There was then a clue that they did not disappear into thin air; there must have been some human intervention; no elements from Mars were involved.

There was an assurance that proper investigations would follow to find out who had abducted the pastor and company. Where were they being taken to? How and why? Who were the abductor(s) – humans wearing masks over their faces in black balaclavas, with guns blazing?

Then what did the abductors do with the abductees? Most vital question is: Where are these four human beings now; are they safe and sound?

The investigations have been going on for quite some time since last year. By now the police and the government may be able to provide a clue or hint as to the real situation of the abductees.

Have there been problems in locating the missing persons?

Whatever it is, the authorities must assure the public especially the distraught families of the abductees that the investigations are on-going until the abductors are finally caught and eventually brought to justice.

Should there be problems or constraints in the investigations, please let us know, before people begin to speculate or spread rumours. Silence is not an answer. Silence is the source of rumours and, in this age of instant electronic communication system, any rumour runs viral and becomes uncontrollable.

Committee on institutional reforms

This committee has this week submitted to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) seven immediate recommendations for consideration and further action by the Five Genii of Malaysia. Among the institutions due for revamp is the Royal Malaysia Police. I wonder if the outcome of the police investigations relating to the missing pastor and his companions was ever raised at all. I assume that the abduction case could have been raised by a Commissioner of Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia), who is on that Institutional Reform Committee.

Again, the lack of news about the missing Malaysians from Suhakam is deafening.

Ask the Immigration Department

What about the role of the Immigration department in this case? The department has the responsibility of controlling the arrivals into and exits of people from this country. Did the Immigration officers manning their posts ever detect any exit of Pastor Koh or of any member of his group from any of the Immigration stations? No information – either yes or no.

The general public are curious about the outcome of the investigations because they don’t want to listen to rumours. However, they would understand, if, for some good reason of security or if disclosure of investigative work would adversely affect proper investigations.

But it has been a long time since the investigations started – last year plus. We need not know details of investigations so far but let’s know that the missing persons are still alive, wherever they may be.

Needless to say, their families are most concerned about the fate of their loved ones. Could this silence mean that the respective family members actually know where their loved ones are and that they are fine. If that is the case, the rest of us need not worry any more. We can stop praying for the safety of the abductees, only wishing them well; or the investigations are still on tract, almost there. As it is, we don’t know one way or the other. So we keep on praying until Pastor Koh and the others are returned to their homes.

Outcome of Suhakam’s public enquiry?

Suhakam had conducted a public enquiry on the missing persons a few months back; perhaps, the commission may be able to enlighten us of their findings if these are allowed to be disclosed to the public at this stage.

Their silence is most curious; unusual for a human rights organisation to keep quiet!

Now we have several organisations on the trail of the missing persons. Do we need more investigators or more investigations? If we need bomohs, we can find enough coconuts in Sarawak for them to use; though I doubt if they are as good as the police. We don’t need the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in one of the Agatha Christy’s novels or Detective Inspector Barnaby of ‘Midsomer County Police District’. We have our own local Poirots and Barnabys; if only they were called upon to help out …

Now we turn to the Home Minister. Perhaps, he may be able to find out for us the real situation once he is in a position to disclose the findings of the investigators as soon as possible. His Harapan government would look helpless and hopeless if nothing had come out of the Police investigations.

Meanwhile, let’s resort to the power of prayer. No one should lose hope of finding the missing persons, never mind their religious affiliation; they are humans and Malaysians at that.

We know that the authorities are doing the best they can to locate the abductees, and then eventually bring them home.

Let’s pray silently for their safety and for the success of the Police investigators now under the watchful eye of the current administration. Upon this government we pin our hopes for a thorough job in terms of justice being done and seen to be done to the missing persons, in accordance with the provisions of the federal constitution on fundamental liberties.

Link to article from Borneo Post found here: