South East Asia

Unanswered questions: one year after kidnap of Pastor Koh

One year on from Pastor Raymond Koh’s kidnap, questions are still being asked about the Malaysian authorities’ response to his disappearance.

The pastor was kidnapped from his car in broad daylight by masked men on 13 February 2017. The entire operation was captured on CCTV and appeared to be well planned and orchestrated, involving multiple men and vehicles.

Police were accused of not cooperating with a public inquiry by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, after refusing to hand over a diary containing notes on the case. Days before police witnesses were due to testify at the inquiry, it was shut down after police charged a man with Pastor Koh’s kidnap and abduction.

The man accused of kidnapping the pastor has pleaded not guilty. Pastor Koh’s wife has expressed her disappointment at the closure of inquiry, while the inquiry’s chairman insisted it was shut down for procedural reasons, as a man has been charged with the crime, adding “The panel has not caved to the police.”

Pastor Raymond Koh worked among the marginalised urban poor near Kuala Lumpur and was described, at the time of his disappearance, as “a compassionate and very bold man of God.”