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01/07/2021 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – On January 6, a retired high-level police officer threatened to walk out of a Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth Sitepu, while complaining that it was unfair to “ask him to come out of retirement” to answer questions on the same issue.

During the inquiry, Awaludin Jadid, a former principal assistant director of the SB’s Social Extremism Division (E2), was agitated when he was questioned about a speech that he had given on extremism in November 2016.

According to Free Malaysia Today, the Suhakam report indicates that the main focus of his speech was to warn against Shia activities, adding that there was an urgent need to address the rise of Shiaism in the country.

It said Awaludin had also complained about the stripping of police powers and the confusion within the administration on supervision of religious organizations.

Responding to questions raised by Bar Council observer Lim Heng Seng, the irritated former officer asked, “Why are we referring to an old ceramah [religious lecture] in 2016? I don’t understand why. What is the reason… I have already given the same answer. Why don’t you just refer to the transcript or notes of proceedings on that?”

He was asked by the inquiry panel to calm down and compose himself.

The Suhakam inquiry is held to investigate the disappearance of Joshua, a Malay who had converted to Christianity, and his wife Ruth Sitepu. Both have been missing since November 2016. Human rights groups see them as victims of enforced disappearance.

Awaludin has stated earlier that both Joshua and Ruth were not monitored by his department, which screened deviant teachings, threats to Muslims, and those who had left Islam, since they were not considered extremists.

Both Joshua and Ruth are still missing. Their families still do not know their whereabouts. The inquiry will continue.

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