3 July 2017
Georgetown, Penang: Last night’s vigil for the missing Malaysians
Then: 5-in-1: All Missing!
Now: 4-in-1: All Missing!!
Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and Pastor Raymond Koh.
@PDRMsia melihat pertuduhan ini sebagai satu pertuduhan yg serius dan menggemparkan. http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/05/civil-societies-form-caged-to-monitor-forced-disappearances/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter …
17 May 2017
Cops summon activists over ‘enforced disappearances’ claim
Three activists have been summoned by the police for questioning over their statements which implied that the abduction of pastor Raymohd Koh, as well as the disappearances of Joshua Hilmy, his wife Ruth, and Amri Che Mat, were “enforced disappearances“.
NGO Engage chairperson Thomas Fann told Malaysiakini that he received a call from one inspector Nasir two days ago, asking Fann to be present at the Bukit Aman police headquarters at 10am on May 24 for questioning.
Also hauled up for questioning are Suaram’s Sevan Doraisamy and Bersih’s Rama Ramanathan.
On May 5, the activists had told a press conference that the abduction and the disappearances of Koh and others were in fact, enforced disappearances – a term defined by the UN as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups or persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state…”.
“This (the questioning) is in response to the press conference where we basically classified the cases as enforced disappearances, implying that the state was involved,” Fann said.
The trio are being investigated under Section 505B of the Penal Code, which relates to statements conducing to public mischief.
On the same night of the press conference, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar had tweeted a news report on the press conference and said the police takes the group’s allegations seriously and said the NGOs will be called up to prove their allegations.
5 May 2017
Missing persons victims of ‘enforced disappearances’, group claims
Civil society groups have claimed that the recent abductions of four people were in fact “enforced disappearances”, on which they questioned the government’s involvement in the cases and demanded answers from the police.
Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted in February while Amri Che Mat, along with Joshua and Ruth Hilmy, disappeared last November.
“From the CCTV footage (of Koh’s abduction) as well as eyewitness accounts (of Amri’s abduction), we believe a professionally-trained group carried out the abductions.
“Is this group sanctioned by the state? Is the state aware of this professional group?
“We assume they were victims of ‘enforced disappearances’, state-sanctioned disappearances,” NGO Engage chairperson Thomas Fann said at a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) today.
Enforced disappearance is defined by the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups or persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state…”
Rama Ramanathan of Bersih further explained their position.
“If you look at the CCTV video of Koh’s abduction, you will see that seven vehicles and 14 professionally-trained people used just 40 seconds to abduct him.
“Analysts have said that their modus operandi is very similar to that of the special forces. But the police statements so far have not addressed this… and we have no information from the government about this group.
“The government needs to respond,” Rama said.
Caged aims to monitor and highlight cases of “enforced disappearances” in Malaysia.
It plans to coordinate solidarity vigils for the victims so that at least two vigils will take place every week across the nation.
Vigils have been organised in more than 10 cities and towns nationwide but Caged will be the main organiser for vigils in Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, scheduled to be held at 8.30pm on the last Saturday of every month.
1 May 2017
US report: Muslims in M’sia imposing on other people’s lives
The Muslim majority in Malaysia are “increasingly imposing restrictive views and norms” on minorities, impacting freedom of religion, said a United States government report.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2017 said there is a “heightened fear” of the government’s pro-Malay Muslim policies and its effect on the daily lives of minorities.
It said this in the report ranking Malaysia on Tier 2, alongside Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Khazakhstan, Laos and Turkey.
“Majority Malay Muslims increasingly impose restrictive views and norms upon ethnic and religious minorities that not only impact these groups’ ability to practice their faith freely, but also constrain their everyday lives.
“Religious and ethnic minorities have expressed growing concerns about the government’s pro-Malay Muslim policies and subsequent limitations on their right to practice their beliefs freely.
“These fears are heightened by reports of religious leaders being harassed or even kidnapped,” it said.
It was referring to the abduction of pastor Raymond Koh, who remains missing after being taken by masked men while driving on a busy highway in Petaling Jaya in February 2017.
The report also cited restrictions on the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, the unilateral conversions of children by converting Muslim parents and the arrest of rapper Namewee (photo) for allegedly insulting Islam in a music video, as examples of infringements on minorities.
“Malaysians generally are free to worship, but minorities often experience discrimination related to their faith, and some have difficulties accessing religious materials, such as Bibles, and obtaining government permission to build houses of worship,” it said.
Not all Muslims are favoured, either, it noted, with the government over time recognising only Sunni Muslims.
“Over time, BN has implemented policies and practices that prefer or otherwise distinguish for special treatment,” it said.
19 April 2017
Peter Chong breaks silence, stands by abduction claim
PETALING JAYA: Activist Peter Chong has finally spoken out about his two-week disappearance and stood by the claim that he was abducted in Thailand.
Taking to Facebook, Chong said he had tried to lodge a police report at the Pattaya police station, where he was released after being held in captivity for three days in Hatyai.
“However, the officer there told me to make the report at the Hatyai police station, which is outside his jurisdiction, as I was held against my will in Hatyai,” he wrote.
Chong, who is a former Petaling Jaya city councillor, was addressing reports quoting Hatyai police chief Kittichai Sankatavorn as saying that he hadn’t received any report on Chong’s abduction claim.
Kittichai also said that the Hatyai police would lodge a report against Chong for making false allegations if it was proven there was no police report on the abduction.
Pattaya police chief Col Apichai Krobpet also confirmed no such report was lodged.
According to Chong, once he is settled, he would “attempt to lodge a report at the Thai embassy here, failing which I may have to go to Hatyai.
“I believe that it is important and necessary to do so.”
Chong, in the statement, also confirmed that the information Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Amar Singh provided to the press was accurate and based on the statements he gave police.
“Details of me being held against my will, as well as the reasons will remain as part of the investigations for the police to release as they see fit.”
He then expressed gratitude to Pattaya police for assisting his return home and the Malaysian police for their professionalism in handling the missing person report made by his family.
“I apologise for any unnecessary grief and anxiety they had to go through.”
16 April 2017
The Re-appearance of the ‘missing’ Peter Chong
16 April: He came back and said that he had gone to Hadyai with the intention of meeting his source who will reveal more info on the disappearance of Pastor. Upon reaching Hadyai he claimed to be have been kidnapped there and brought to Pattaya but was later released.
On 12 April, the Inspector-General of Police was reported as having said that the police had not determined why Chong went to Thailand. “He has left the country and we don’t know the reason. He may have run away because of debt.”
Cops: Peter Chong claimed abducted while tracking missing pastor
KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The strange “disappearance” of activist Peter Chong took another twist as police said he claimed to have been abducted in Thailand after going there to seek information on a Christian pastor’s abduction.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh said Chong, who returned to Malaysia today after going missing for 11 days, had told local police that he had travelled to Thailand to meet someone with information on Pastor Raymond Koh’s disappearance.
“According to him, he had gone to Hadyai with the intention of meeting his source who will reveal more info on the disappearance of Pastor.
“Upon reaching Hadyai he claims to be kidnapped there and brought to Pattaya. Upon release, he contacted his son who bought his return ticket,” Amar Singh told Malay Mail Online in a WhatsApp message when contacted today.
At the time of writing, Chong’s son Darryl has yet to respond to Malay Mail Online’s queries.
Earlier today, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar posted on Twitter that Chong has returned from Pattaya, Thailand, to Malaysia this afternoon.
Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Mohd Sukri Kaman told Malay Mail Online that the police recorded a statement from Chong directly at the airport and passed him to his family there at 2.15pm.
12 April 2017
IGP: Only Pastor Koh abducted, the rest just missing
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Bukit Aman has warned several parties including the Bar Council from allegedly confusing the public over a recent spate of missing activist, especially over social media.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said from the five cases claimed to be abductions, only Pastor Raymond Koh’s case is confirmed as one, while three other cases are classified as missing people, and Peter Chong had in fact fled the country.
“I see that it has been made viral, all these people have been kidnapped. I want to warn those who want to confuse, this is not true.
“These five people have not been kidnapped. We have proof only one person has been abducted, that is Pastor Koh,” he told reporters during a press conference at Bukit Aman today.
The police chief also pointedly told parties like Bar Council to not comment on the matter, as the police were already investigating the cases.
“Several parties including the Bar Council has been concerned by this case, we are also concerned, we are even more concerned in fact,” Khalid said.
Trio not abducted, says IGP
KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar today rubbished claims going round on social media that three individuals, including an activist, who went missing last year were abducted.
The IGP said there was no evidence to show that the trio had been abducted.
“So they remain as missing persons,” he told reporters after attending the monthly assembly here this morning.
Khalid went on to state that police were as concerned over their disappearance as much as several quarters were, including the Malaysian Bar.
Yesterday, Malaysian Bar president George Varughese said they were “deeply troubled by the unprecedented mysterious disappearances” of at least five people, including activists and pastors, in separate incidents since November 2016.
The IGP assured that his men will continue looking into these cases. Earlier today, he said Chong was not abducted but had gone to Thailand, as he was caught on CCTV crossing the border at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah.
IGP: ‘Missing’ activist Peter Chong in Thailand, not abducted
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 ― Former Petaling Jaya city councillor Peter Chong, the most recent activist reported missing, left for Thailand and was not abducted, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The Inspector-General of Police said authorities have evidence of Chong passing through the immigration checkpoint in Kedah last Friday.
“I want to confirm that Peter Chong has crossed to Thailand at 6.30am on 7th of April by bus.
“He is in Thailand. We have a photograph of him crossing the border in Kayu Hitam,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters today.
Khalid added the police have not determined why Chong went to Thailand.
He also said police will take action if the activist staged his disappearance to make it appear as though he was abducted.
“He has left the country and we don’t know the reason. He may have run away because of debt,” he said adding the Malaysian authorities are working with Thailand to find out more about Chong.
IGP: Peter Chong spotted crossing into Thailand
Peter Chong, the former Petaling Jaya councillor who is reportedly missing, was spotted crossing into Thailand aboard a bus, police said today.
“I wish to confirm that Chong was detected crossing into Thailand at 6.30am on April 7.
“We have a photo of him crossing the Bukit Kayu Hitam border aboard a bus,” inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur…
IGP: Peter Chong dilihat seberang sempadan Thailand
Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar mengesahkan bahawa aktivis Peter Chong yang didakwa hilang, telah dilihat menyeberangi sempadan Thailand.
Menurut Khalid, Peter dilihat menyeberangi sempadan Thailand melalui Bukit Kayu Hitam dengan menaiki bas pada jam 6.30 pagi 7 April.
“Saya ingin sahkan Peter Chong, kita nampak dia telah seberangi sempadan Thailand pada jam 6.30 pagi 7 April. Kita ada dapat gambar dia.
“Dia seberangi melalui sempadan Bukit Kayu Hitam menaiki bas.
“Saya tak tahu apa niat, tujuan dia hilangkan diri ke sana dan dilihat seolah-olah dia diculik dan viral,” kata Khalid dalam sidang media selepas menghadiri himpunan bulanan polis peringkat Bukit Aman hari ini.
11 April 2017
Missing Peter Chong’s Facebook chat still active, say lawmakers
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 ― Peter Chong’s Facebook Messenger was active over the weekend till this morning and a friend’s phone call got through the activist’s social networking account although it was unanswered, two lawmakers said.
PKR lawmakers R. Sivarasa and Elizabeth Wong expressed hopes that the police would be able to use the lead to locate Chong, a former Petaling Jaya city councillor and Sivarasa’s aide, who was last seen last Wednesday by his family.
“This could mean two things, either (1) that Peter is able to access his Facebook account, or (2) that another person other than Peter is accessing his account.
“We are optimistic and hopeful that he is alive and well. However it is still much too early to draw any firm conclusions,” Sivarasa and Wong said in a statement.
The Subang MP and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman also commended Kuala Lumpur police for setting up a special task force to investigate Chong’s disappearance.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Authorities must act swiftly and investigate the series of incidents in which activists have gone missing, National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.
“This is the latest in a series of such incidents where the abduction and disappearance, in some circumstances, indicate the use of extra legal means by highly trained individuals.
“This has caused disquiet in the country over the last several months, as such incidents are unheard of in Malaysia,” she said in a statement, referring to news this morning that former Petaling Jaya city councillor Peter Chong has been reported missing by his family.
Aside from Chong, other recently missing activists include Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and Pastor Raymond Koh.
All were abducted separately since November.
“In international human rights law, such abductions are called ‘forced disappearances’ which are defined as secret abductions with the tacit support of the state or other organisation. This is followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate and whereabouts thus putting the person outside the protection of the law.
“Such heinous acts are a breach of international human rights laws and undermine the rule of law,” Ambiga added.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/cops-must-act-fast-in-response-to-forced-disappearances-group-says?utm_content=buffera66b5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.WRj6JQbs.2LUeCidh.dpuf
10 April 2017
Task-force formed to investigate disappearance of activist Peter Chong: Police
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have formed a task force to investigate the mysterious disappearance of activist Peter Chong who has been uncontactable since April 5.
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Mohd Sukri Kaman said today the case is classified as a missing person report and investigators have no clues to the whereabouts of Chong.
He said a task force headed by Kuala Lumpur CID chief SAC Rusdi Mohd Isa has taken charge of the investigations and efforts to trace Chong.
Asked if the case was linked to the disappearance of four others including Pastor Raymond Koh on April 13, he said there was no evidence that pointed to it.
“Investigations are ongoing and so far there is no evidence of criminal elements involved. We cannot say if its linked to Pastor Koh’s case as we have no such leads to indicate so but he was actively involved in the candlelight vigils held for the pastor.” he said when contacted.
Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago who has known Chong for over 15 years said the former Petaling Jaya municipal councillor was a committed activist.
Refering to the Koh’s case, he said Chong was neither a preacher nor did he evangalise and as such his disappearance came as a shock.
Chong who is in his 50’s and a Christian was last seen by his family on the Wednesday night leaving his home and has not been reachable since.
His family said that it was unusual for Chong not to keep in touch with his family.
allen warren Retweeted Malay Mail Online
allen warren added,
Prove my husband spread Shia teachings, says Amri’s wife
PETALING JAYA: Perlis activist Amri Che Mat’s abduction was recently linked to allegations that he had in the past, attempted to spread the teachings of Shia.
His wife, Norhayati Ariffin, drew a parallel to allegations surrounding another abducted activist, Pastor Raymond Koh.
Koh had been accused of proselytising Muslims, following a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) at a thanksgiving dinner in 2011.
Whether these allegation were true or false, they shouldn’t be a reason to silence these individuals through illegal means, Norhayati said.
She added that even if it was true that her husband was a Shia, the authorities should provide proof to back their claim.
“If they say my husband is a Shia, where is the proof? Why they (the authorities) never came and questioned him? Even the police never came to our house,” she told FMT.
Amri, 44, is a co-founder of charity organisation Perlis Hope. The organisation which is based in Amri’s house has been linked to Shia, a sect which the National Fatwa Council has deemed as deviationist and thus, is “haram” (forbidden).
“There are also those who claimed that Perlis Hope is a terrorist (pengganas) organisation. But just come to our house, or Perlis Hope’s office, and take a look at our accounts.
“We keep a record of all our activities because Perlis Hope is a registered organisation. We receive donations for our activities, even as small as RM3,” she said, reiterating that Amri was not Shia.
This was affirmed by Perlis Hope’s spokesperson Mahmud Al-Kaf, who also told FMT if the authorities have proof that Amri was a Shia, then they should take him to court.
Bersih urges cops to act as yet another activist disappears
KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Former Petaling Jaya city councillor Peter Chong has been reported missing by his family, becoming the latest activist to have vanished mysteriously.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 expressed concern over the growing number of missing activists, and pressed the police to take the matter more seriously.
“They must make this their priority as this helps mitigates some of the pains and anxiety suffered by the families of the disappeared,” it said in a statement.
Chong was last seen on Wednesday by his family, who reported him missing to police yesterday.
9 April 2017
Ex-councillor missing, days after attending Pastor Koh’s vigil
Peter Chong (left) at the Bersih rally last November. Chong’s family have lodged a police report on the missing activist. – Facebook pic, April 9, 2017.
@bersih2 “totally shocked” by disappearance of social activist Peter Chong. The “fifth disappearance” of a Malaysian in recent weeks.
Another activist goes missing
PETALING JAYA: While police have yet to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and three others like him, another person is feared to have also gone missing.
Speaking to FMT, Darryl Chong, the son of missing Peter Chong, said he last saw his father at their house on Wednesday.
The family lost contact with Peter a couple of days later.
“He would usually keep in touch (whenever he leaves home and didn’t return for the night).
“But we haven’t heard anything from him for two and half days,” said Darryl.
He added that the family was still determining if anything had happened to 54-year-old Peter or if he had just “lost his phone”.
“We lodged a report at the Tun HS Lee police station last night, but we haven’t heard anything from the police yet,” said Darryl.
Peter had, in a Facebook post dated March 31, written of his “strange experience” when he was approached by a stranger while walking to a stall he frequented for breakfast.
“A young motorcyclist rode up and asked if I live around the area. I asked him back, why?
“He said he recognised me, that I like to go for protests and candlelight vigils.
“I asked where he was from? I was a little worried and looked around but there was no one else around.
“He said he sokong (support) what I do. He said ‘tapi mahu hati-hati … sekarang banyak orang tiba-tiba hilang. Mereka semua tahu mana orang tinggal.”
(“Be careful … nowadays a lot of people have suddenly disappeared. They all know where people live.”)
“I asked, mereka itu siapa? (Who are they?) He just said, pandai-pandai lah (be smart) … take care boss … and rode away. Now, is this strange?”
Peter had also posted some pictures of him attending a prayer service for Pastor Koh on April 4.
When contacted, Peter’s long-time friend, Klang MP Charles Santiago, said Peter used to work as an assistant to Subang MP R Sivarasa.
“I met him 10 years ago when we were taking on a case against the government.”
He also commented on Peter’s post, saying that the coincidence had raised some questions, such as whether the stranger who spoke to Peter was indeed giving him a warning of what was to come.
“Why the warning? Why go after Peter? The police must do something about this, and investigate this case properly.”
Ambiga: If pastor’s actions illegal, take him to court
KUALA LUMPUR: No matter what missing Pastor Raymond Koh and three others like him did, they don’t deserve to be taken away from their families with no explanation provided.
“Are they armed terrorists? No. They are ordinary people who helped, and did extraordinary work for the poor and the needy,” said Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is president of the national human rights society, Hakam.
“Of course there are a lot of allegations (surrounding their disappearance). If you say they have done anything wrong, charge them.
“If anyone does anything illegal, they must be charged and brought to justice, no matter how much you don’t like what they do,” she added.
Ambiga was speaking at a gathering in Dataran Merdeka here last night. The gathering titled “Di Mana Mereka?” (Where are they?) was organised by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) in solidarity with the families of the missing four.
Over a hundred gather to pray for missing four
Some 150 gathered amid rain and song in Kuala Lumpur last night in solidarity of four Malaysians who have gone missing, including the abducted pastor Raymond Koh.
They held a candlelight vigil near Dataran Merdeka at about 8.30pm last night for Koh, as well as pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth Hilmy, and Perlis Hope activist Amri Che Mat, all of whom have gone missing in separate incidents.
It started drizzling midway through the vigil, but this did not deter the participants from staying, even though few had brought umbrellas or rain coats with them.
8 April 2017
Civil societies hold solidarity vigil in Dataran Merdeka over the abductions of 4 people in 4 months. More to come in
BLOGEZINE Solidariti orang ‘hilang’ dipercayai diculik di Dataran Merdeka esok: Amri Che…
7 April 2017
Kugan shapes our thoughts about
#RaymondKoh and 3 others http://write2rest.blogspot.com/2017/04/kugan-shapes-our-thoughts-about-raymond.html …
When I exited the railway station in Seremban I went up to a stranger and asked for directions to Dataran Seremban. His eyes flashed concern. He said “It’s 8 pm, it’s dark. There will be no one there. Why do you want to go there?” I said “There’s a candle light vigil for Pastor Raymond Koh.”
His eyes sparkled. He asked “Who do you think took him?” I said “I watched the video. It was the work of trained professionals. Maybe they are still working for the security forces. Maybe they are now contractors engaged by some Muslim group.”
He said “I’ve also seen the video. I’m ex-Special Forces. I was trained to conduct abductions. The abductors modus operandi is the same as that of the Special Forces.” The tough patriot showed me how to get to Dataran. He added that he would pray for Pastor Raymond and for justice.
I bought some candles and paper cups (to keep the flame from being blown out). I went to Dataran. With about 400 others I heard a message from Pastor Raymond’s family, and some passages from the Bible. We prayed. We sang Sejahtera Malaysia.
That was four weeks ago. This week, I spoke with a driver about abductions in Malaysia…
Solidarity vigil for ‘kidnapped’ pastors and others
A candlelight vigil will be held tomorrow at Dataran Merdeka to show solidarity for the pastors and two others who were purportedly kidnapped.
“To show our solidarity to the kidnapping victims and their families, we invite you for a solidarity vigil session.
“We invite all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, to attend on April 8 (Saturday), 8.30pm at Dataran Merdeka,” read a joint statement from a group of 46 NGOs.
Pastor Raymond Koh was kidnapped on Feb 13 and police are currently investigating his case, while Amri Che Mat who supposedly disappeared on Nov 24, 2016, is still missing.
Another couple, pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Hilmy, have also reportedly been missing since Nov 30, 2016, and their location is still unknown until today.
“The similarities between these kidnapping victims is that they all did charity work for the poor and the outcast in our country.
“They are not from rich families, which is why the motive for their kidnapping cannot have been because of money or as a hostage.
“There has been no demand for ransom in all of these cases so far,” the NGOs’ statement, prepared by Suaram, read.While Koh’s case has been extensively covered by the media since his disappearance, the NGOs lamented that there is a lack of media attention on the other two cases, even though they happened much earlier.
They also said that even though it has been a month since Koh’s kidnapping, the police still have not arrested anyone with regard to the case.
“It is worrying that three kidnappings happened within four months and the police appears not to care and seems to not have responded to the worries of the rakyat in the country,” the statement read.