01/31/2020 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – On January 26, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) announced through a statement that a public inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Hilmy (née Sitepu) will begin on Feb 18 in Kuala Lumpur.
The inquiry is to assist the authorities with their ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the couple and the panel will be chaired by Commissioner Hishamuddin Yunus and assisted by Commissioners Jerald Joseph and Madeline Berma.
Suhakam has called for individuals with relevant and important information to come forward to have their statements recorded from now to Feb 14.
“Through this inquiry, Suhakam intends to fully investigate to its best ability what has transpired in order to identify and make the best possible recommendations to the appropriate parties,” reads the statement.
“Notwithstanding Suhakam’s investigation, the commission calls on the authorities to fully and expeditiously investigate all cases where there is a reasonable suspicion that an enforced disappearance may have occurred,” the statement continues.
Little is known about the disappearance of the Hilmy couple except that they were last seen on Nov 30, 2016, and reported missing on March 6, 2017. Ruth’s family from Indonesia said she had not responded to any of their messages or calls since November 2016.
There seems to be little progress if not none on police investigations into the duo’s disappearance.
In April of last year, a Suhakam inquiry concluded that Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat were victims of “enforced disappearance by state agents”. The special police is allegedly behind their abduction.
Insurance salesman Peter Pormannan, who has known the couple since 2012, told Malaysian Insight, “This couple might have encountered some troubles. Perhaps there are people who are upset about his conversion (from Islam to Christianity)? I don’t know.”
“We still hope that there is an end to it, we hope that they are still alive,” he said. “We hope that Suhakam will be able to provide some clues to their disappearance.”
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