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ICC Note:

Asia Times reported on increased disappearance of religious activists in Malaysia. The first case to gain international recognition was the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh in February. However, a pastor and his wife were abducted in November as well as a social activist. In these cases, the abductions have been carried out very professionally, and the government has said little and made no progress in finding them. Many have begun to suspect either the Malaysian government’s involvement or complicity. The President of Malaysia’s Human Rights Society said that the government’s silence, “has reinforced the message that even if the abductions were not state-sanctioned, they are being tolerated by the state.” Another activist who has persisted in investigating Pastor Koh’s disappearance was warned by a motorcyclist, “to ‘take care’ because people were going missing, and those responsible knew where their ‘targets’ lived.” He was later abducted in Thailand by two Malaysians and a Thai person. They warned him that non-Muslims should stay away from Muslim issues. He was released after eight days.

5/10/2017 Malaysia (Asia Times) – On February 13, the day he disappeared, Raymond Koh Keng Joo was driving near his home in Petaling Jaya, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. The 62-year-old Christian pastor was known for his charitable work with marginalized groups: single mothers, drug addicts, sex workers and people suffering from HIV/Aids.

Koh’s work had also previously attracted the attention of Malaysia’s religious authorities. His Damansara Utama Methodist Church was raided in 2011 by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department, the state branch of the national religious authority.

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