01/25/2022 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – The Malaysian police only interviewed two witnesses nearly three years after Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth Sitepu disappeared.
In an oral submission to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) public inquiry on the case, the couple’s lawyer Andrew Khoo said the police’s uninterested attitude could be detrimental to the investigation since the authorities only involved the couple’s tenants that stayed in the same houses as the victims three years later.
“So imagine the criticalness, if there was any criticalness in timing as the result of the disappearance, any advantage to be gained from that has absolutely lost,” he said.
In addition, Joshua’s brothers Huzir and Firdaus Hanim were also only asked to testify almost two years after the police report was lodged.
According to Malay Mail, Khoo stated that Malaysia needs to have legislation recognizing enforced disappearances, to ensure that investigations into such cases will be conducted properly and the authorities will have a standard to guide them.
“I think that we do need to have legislation that addresses enforced disappearance because it has been seen to happen with respect to Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat. It may have happened here. We don’t know,” Khoo said.
The session for final oral submissions held on January 20 was chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, Sarawak Suhakam Commissioner Datuk Madeline Berma, and fellow commissioner Jerald Joseph. The panel will have to present its findings and recommendations at a later date, pending confirmation.
Joshua, a Malay Muslim-background believer, and his wife Ruth were last seen at their house in Kg Tunku, Petaling Jaya, on November 30, 2016. Suhakam suspects that an enforced disappearance may have occurred in their case.
For interviews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.