Suhakam halts inquiry into Pastor Koh’s disappearance on IGP’s request

16th Jan 2018

Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai revealed that Suhakam received a letter from Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun at 3pm on Monday (Jan 15) asking it to stop as there was a court case pending.

According to the letter, part-time driver Lam Chang Nam, who claimed trial to extorting Koh’s son last year, had been charged under Section 365 of the Penal Code for kidnapping or abducting on Monday (Jan 15).

It added that Lam was arrested on Jan 12 and appeared in court on Jan 15.

However, no details were given on whether the suspect was on remand or out on bail.

“Given the circumstances and the developments yesterday (Jan 15), we have decided that we will immediately cease the inquiry until further notice,” said Mah on Tuesday.

He cited Section 12(3) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act that states that it should “immediately cease” an inquiry if the allegation becomes the subject matter of any court proceedings.

However, Mah said that Suhakam would proceed with the inquiry into the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife, Ruth Sitepu.

In March 2017, Lam was charged with extorting RM30,000 from Jonathan Koh Szu Hao, 33, for the release of his father, Raymond Koh.

Lam, 31, allegedly committed the offence at Paradigm Mall in Kelana Jaya here at 9.46pm on March 6 and was accused under Section 385 of the Penal Code for putting a person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion.

Koh, 62, was abducted by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 in Petaling Jaya on Feb 13, 2017 while on his way to a friend’s house.

CCTV footage, believed to be of the incident, showed at least 15 men and three black SUVs involved in Koh’s abduction.

Koh’s wife Susanna Liew expressed disappointment at Suhakam’s announcement.

“I will have to seek advice from my lawyers on how to go forward,” she added.

Her lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar said that police witnesses scheduled to testify on Tuesday did not show up.

“We don’t have the benefit of their take on this turn of events,” said Gurdial.

When contacted, Lam’s lawyer Aaron Mark Pius confirmed that his client was charged under Section 365 and had pleaded not guilty.