08/31/2019 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Last April, Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) had conducted an 18-month inquiry into the cases of two missing persons – Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Chet Mat. It released a critical report that found both men to be victims of enforced disappearances — a term that strongly suggests the involvement of state agents.
Although the government has shown efforts to address past lapses on human rights issues, the national body is urging Kuala Lumpur to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) to further prove its commitment to solving the case of Koh and Amri.
In a statement to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, Suhakam said, “The Commission believes that to effectively address an issue, it is important to first acknowledge that it exists.”
“Suhakam believes that the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) will not only ensure that legal recognition and remedies are put in place for victims of enforced disappearances, but also that it will signal a commitment that enforced disappearance is unacceptable in Malaysia.”
The statement also stated that there is no official data on cases of enforced disappearances in Malaysia as past cases were often just treated as that of missing persons, abductions or kidnapping. There is also an absence of laws and regulations regarding the treatment of such cases.
Pastor Koh has been missing since February 13, 2017. He was allegedly abducted by state agents in broad daylight. His wife and daughter came to the Ministerial to Advance International Religious Freedom in DC last month to raise international awareness about Koh’s case.