Press Release – May 23, 2017: 100 Days After, press conference

23rd May 2017

100 Days after Raymond Koh’s abduction, wife calls for his release and justice

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; 23 May 2017 – A hundred days after the shocking abducion of her husband Raymond Koh, Mrs Susanna Liew has appealed for Koh’s release and justice: “What my children and I want most of all is the release of my husband, safe and sound; and for his abductors and their accomplices to be brought to justice.”

Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted on a residential street in Petaling Jaya by a large group of men in a convoy of cars. According to an eyewitness to the 13th February abduction, black SUV’s had surrounded the Honda Accord Koh was driving, while masked men forcibly pulled Koh out of his car against his will and other abductors directed traffic and filmed the abduction.

This eyewitness statement is corroborated by residential security camera footage around the area, which captured the entire abduction that took less than 60 seconds and reflected a professional precision and efficiency not usually seen in conventional kidnappings in Malaysia.

To date, Koh remains missing and the identities of his abductors and their accomplices remain a mystery, despite the abundance of evidence of the abduction itself and the fact that Koh’s antagonists are well-known.

On 15th May 2017, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) submitted a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) on behalf of Koh’s family. FIDH also submitted a similar communication on behalf of Amri Che Mat, a social worker from Perlis, who is believed to have been abducted on 24th November 2016.

“We helped Koh’s family to escalate this to the UN WGEID after these 100 days of no answers and no action by the authorities to account for such a shocking crime,” said Sevan Doraisamy, Suaram’s executive director.

Suaram, a member organisation of FIDH, has also joined the newly formed civil society coalition Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED).

CAGED spokesperson Thomas Fann added: “Of great concern are the police’s failure to account for their startling lack of progress, the lack of transparency and the lack of sincere efforts to regularly and informatively update the family. To make matters worse, they seem to be exploiting the abduction to investigate and potentially prosecute Raymond Koh and his family, friends and associates on alleged offences unrelated to the crime against Koh.”

Fann was referring to the last public remarks made by the police about their investigations. On 6th April 2017, the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted as telling Malay newspaper Berita Harian that investigations were focused on allegations that Koh had attempted to convert two Muslim teenagers in Perlis in January 2017. Unnamed police sources also confirmed to Berita Harian that Koh and alleged unnamed associates were being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code.

Susanna Liew concurred: “Despite public speculation and suspicion against the authorities, up to 6th April, I still appealed to Malaysians to give the police space to conduct their investigations. However, this trust in them has been in vain. I was shocked and disappointed when I read IGP Khalid’s words as quoted in Berita Harian. The victim is now being investigated? How will this help find him and bring his abductors to justice?”

The actions and statements by the police since the 13th February abduction have also raised concern and questions among the Malaysian public, some of which have been reported in the media.

Koh’s family members have become increasingly concerned about this lack of commitment to a fair, transparent and accountable investigation to secure Koh’s safe release and to bring his abductors and accomplices to justice. As such, Koh’s family felt that they had no other recourse except to appeal to other organisations for help, including escalating Koh’s abduction to the UN as a suspected case of “enforced disappearance”.

“Do I think that Raymond could have been taken by parties as defined by the UN? It is a difficult question to answer, and not something to do casually. But based on the way the authorities have behaved in the last 100 days, I cannot rule out the possibilty that people in power are linked to this or know more than they are admitting,” said Susanna, adding: “It is my duty to do all I can to find out what happened to Raymond and to get him justice. I owe this to my husband and must ask the difficult questions even if I risk retaliation against me by powerful men.”

Since Koh’s case was submitted to the UN WGEID, the police have responded by summoning human rights activists who have assisted Koh’s family in this. Sevan Doraisamy, Thomas Fann and Bersih activist Rama Ramanathan have been summoned by the police for questioning on 24th May, at 10am at the police headquarters in Bukit Aman. They are being investigated under Section 505B of the Penal Code for making statements allegedly conducing to ‘public mischief’.

In responding to this police summons, Thomas Fann said: “We will show up as requested by the police. However, I would think that in dealing with such a serious crime that has gone on for 100 days with no progress, shouldn’t the police be focusing on finding answers, instead of harassing those who have raised questions?”

Concerned Christian pastors have also launched a Pastoral Prayer initiative to unite Malaysians in awareness and prayer for Koh, and others who have disappeared suspiciously since November 2016, namely Amri Che Mat, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu. This initiative has been endorsed by over 2,000 people since it was distributed over social media on 18th May 2017. (Link to this Pastoral Prayer:

The above followed a media session held in Petaling Jaya on May 23 morning, where Susanna Liew, her daughters, advisors and CAGED representatives spoke with Malaysian and international journalists. Below is Susanna’s opening remarks at this session: