Press Statement – March 13, 2017: One Month after Abduction

13th Mar 2017

One Month Since Pastor Raymond’s Abduction
March 13, 2017, 9:00am (Petaling Jaya, Selangor)
Statement by Susanna Liew Sow Yoke, wife of Pastor Raymond Koh

Today marks one month since my husband Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo was abducted. He remains missing, and we are still in the dark as to who abducted him, why they did it and where they have taken him. From information we know to date, on 13 th February, around 10:30am, my husband was driving alone in a silver 1990 model Honda Accord (number plate: ST5515D) along Jalan SS4B/10 in Petaling Jaya, when he was forced to a stop by unknown persons in three large SUVs, a fourth sedan and suspected accomplices on motorbikes. Both he and the car he was driving were removed from that location by these abductors in an efficient operation that took less than a minute to execute. Since then, my husband and his car have not been seen and neither his abductors nor the cars they were driving have been spotted or found. We have received no demand for ransom or proof of life from these abductors.

I refer to the arrest of a suspect by police in the early hours of Thursday, 9 th March. As the police have referenced us, the family, in their public statements about this, I would like to clarify the facts from our side. A number of text messages were sent to my son Jonathan’s mobile number that seemed suspicious and extortionate. On Wednesday, 8th March, Jonathan alerted the police to these messages, whose quick work on this led to the arrest. While I am happy that the police acted swiftly on this matter, I hope that the arrest does not distract attention away from the real abductors and their accomplices or discourage genuine informers to reach out to us.

Our offer of a reward on 20th February still stands. The reward of up to a maximum of RM100,000 will be awarded for information leading to the safe recovery of my husband Raymond Koh Keng Joo. There are no restrictions to the eligibility of the reward recipients. A panel will decide how the full reward will be divided according to the accuracy and usefulness of information provided.

In the month since he was taken away from us, my children and I have swung between feelings of numbness, despair, hope, sadness, fear and anger. From this comes a frustration that there has been no significant breakthroughs in efforts to find my husband.

On the other hand, the immense show of concern and solidarity that we have received from so many people and organisations have bolstered our hopes. We do not feel we are alone, thanks to the outpouring of support from Malaysians, and their prayers at the many peaceful candlelight vigils held in cities across the country.

My husband’s abduction is unprecedented in Malaysia, which has long stood as a global example of multiracial and interfaith harmony. This harmony is precious to all of us: it is the foundation on which we stand as a nation. For many Malaysians, the abduction of my husband, a man of faith who is known in the community for his charity work, is a blow to that harmony. As such, I urge all our leaders to do their best to address and allay this very real fear. It is not just my family who are traumatised by this, but many others who do not even know Raymond, yet feel concern and a deep sense of outrage at what happened to him.

I thank all those leaders who have spoken up; I hope more will step up to send a clear message that Malaysia does not tolerate such acts of criminal violence against anyone, regardless of race, religion, creed or circumstances.

To my fellow Malaysians, thank you for your prayers and support. I hope you continue praying for the safe recovery of my husband Raymond, for us to not lose hope and for our nation to never lose sight of our precious harmony and mutual respect for each other.