Malaysian Government Withholds Evidence Concerning Missing Pastor
06/27/2021 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Malaysian pastor Joshua Hilmy, disappeared along with his Indonesian wife, Ruth Sitepu, on November 30, 2016. Joshua was a Muslim before converting to Christianity. Rights groups suspect that the couple might have been kidnapped for their outreach to Muslims.
Recently, a lawyer representing the family of Ruth Sitepu from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (known in Malaysia as Suhakam) has called out the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) over their lack of cooperation in a probe over her disappearance. The lawyer, Philip Koh, expressed concern over Suhakam’s difficulty in obtaining evidence from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
While other Malaysian companies have assisted the investigation, the government has not been cooperative with providing evidence for the inquiry in January of this year. They first cited COVID-19 as a reason for the delay but later claimed that providing evidence from “third parties” would hinder the investigation.
According to Free Malaysia Today, Ruth Sitepu’s lawyer, Philip Koh, criticized the AGC’s “blanket” refusal to disclose information, saying it should assist in seeking the truth behind the couple’s disappearance. “Saying it may jeopardize the investigation sounds more like the executive is unwilling to get to the bottom of the matter in a manner that may be helpful for the aggrieved families,” he said.
Koh attempted to contact the office of Attorney General Idrus Harun yet again, asking him to reconsider his decision to withhold the evidence. Koh also called out the police and the government’s claimed “inability” to trace the account holder, which allegedly linked federal minister Khairy Jamaluddin to Ruth and Joshua’s disappearance.
Koh said, “it is our concern that whoever operated that email had something to do with the missing couple.” He also noted that the Immigration Department could not produce evidence to support its claims that Ruth had voluntarily left the country.
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