PETALING JAYA: When the country marks Merdeka Day tomorrow, it will be 200 days since Pastor Raymond Kho has gone missing after his abduction.
His family has written a heart-rending open letter to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The missing pastor’s wife Susanna Liew touched on her family’s struggle to cope with Koh’s absence and not knowing his fate.
“We are devastated,” she said. “What makes it worse is the way you and the police under your command have treated us, Raymond’s family, while conducting investigations into his abduction.”
The open letter by Liew, 61, listed down a series of announcements by Khalid since April 2017 on developments in the case, saying “these public announcements have been vague, bordering on sensationalist, with inconsistencies that raise more questions than answers and doubts about the authorities’ commitment to properly investigate this case”.
She also referred to the IGP’s advice to them to not speak about Koh’s case to the media. “As such, I am bewildered as to why you have chosen to ignore your own advice,” Liew said.
Her letter focused mainly on the latest statement by Khalid that Koh’s abductors were linked to a human trafficking syndicate operating on the Malaysian-Thai border.
On June 25, at a Hari Raya function in Kuala Lumpur, Khalid told the media that the police believed this after uncovering new leads after a shootout between the police and a suspected arms and drug smuggler in Kedah on 17 June.
Liew noted that what was said by IGP Khalid about this shootout on June 25 did not match what was originally said by the Kedah police about the same incident during their press conference in Alor Star on June 18.
On June 25, Khalid said the police found “various photos, including … the house of the pastor, and licence plates bearing the number ST5515D”, referring to the car number plate of the Honda Accord
Koh was driving when he was abducted on Feb 13.
There was no mention of these photos or the ST5515D number plate in the extensive list of evidence listed and displayed at the Kedah press conference on June 18, Liew said.
There is also a discrepancy in the description of the suspect who was killed by the police in the June 17 shootout, she added.
“While IGP Khalid claimed that the dead man was a main player in an arms, drugs and human trafficking syndicate, a week earlier, Kedah police chief Datuk Asri Yusoff had said the police believed that this man was a smuggler of arms and drugs from Thailand working alone,” Liew said.
“I do not know why you and the police have chosen to treat us this way. You have ignored the basic obligation to update the family of an abduction victim in a professional and compassionate manner.
“Why are you doing this? If this sensational story is based on a logical and credible line of enquiry with verifiable evidence, then why not update me accordingly? If there is no credible evidence, then why build this narrative in the full glare of media spotlight? Why is there a need for this?
“It is imperative that all parties can work together to ensure that investigations are conducted in a transparent, impartial and accountable manner so that truth and justice prevail.”
On Feb 13, 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, black SUV’s had surrounded the car Koh was driving, while masked men forcibly pulled Koh out of his car.
Residential security cameras captured the entire abduction that took less than 60 seconds, reflecting a professional precision and efficiency not usually seen in kidnappings in Malaysia.
Koh remains missing and the identities of his abductors and their accomplices are unknown.