Police could have acted faster in missing pastor’s case, says ex-IGP Khalid

30th Oct 2017

Police could have acted quicker in investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, the public inquiry heard today.

Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar, the fifth witness who was called to testify in the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry, was asked if the police took long to respond to the abduction.

Lawyers representing Koh’s family had asked Khalid if there was a delay in taking the statement of the first witness Roeshan Gomez.

“Gomez was the witness who saw the abduction made a report on the first day at 11.30am. He was then told at 12.30pm that the investigating officer was not in and was asked to come back at 1.30pm.

“It was only at 2.30pm that his statement was recorded,” he said.

When the lawyers asked if there was a lapse by the police in the matter, Khalid said “Yes”.

Khalid was then repeatedly questioned by the lawyers on various incidents that had transpired before and after Koh abduction.

He was asked about Koh’s car number plates that was found at a suspect’s house in Perak and issues about the pastor proselytising.

The retired cop, who was subpoenaed to attend the inquiry, had refused to answers many questions and told the lawyers to check with Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmat who was in charge of the case.

“The investigations on Koh is still ongoing. I don’t have all the details. It is best to ask the CID chief who is incharge of the task force (to look into the disappearance),” he said.

Khalid will be taking the stand again on November 21. The inquiry will resume on November 2 with Inspector Ali Asra and ASP Supari Mohammad.

The inquiry which started on October 19, is seeking answers into the disappearance of Koh, as well as that of Pastor Joshua Hilmy, his wife, Ruth, who were both last seen in November last year, and activist Amri Che Mat, also reported missing since last year.

The inquiry aims to determine if these are cases of enforced disappearance, a term which describes abductions involving the authorities.

Koh was taken by a group of men in a convoy on February 13 which has been described as “similar to how a police operation is conducted”.

The inquiry is chaired by Mah Weng Kwai and the other panel members are Suhakam commissioners Aishah Bidin and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleha.

To date, the commission has interviewed 35 people, including family members of the missing four, police and interested parties, and subpoenaed more than 15 people to testify.