Opinion

Pastor's abduction: An unexpected lead or inconvenient questions?

Published:  |  Modified:

“A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of green paper.”

- Derrick Jensen, 'Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilisation'

COMMENT | I did not want to write about this new development in the Pastor Koh abduction case but seeing as how the state security apparatus is unusually forthcoming about the progress of the investigation, it would seem that speculation is warranted, especially since the IGP has released extremely sensitive information about the case.

When I wrote about this case a couple of months ago, what I did was an attempt to make sense of the case and the way how the state security apparatus was investigating this case. Like many people, I was asking questions that are only asked when the state security apparatus is suffering from credibility issues.

I made two points in that article: (1) “What I do know is that this is atypical for a kidnapping in Malaysia. I have no idea why the state security apparatus was slow to acknowledge this. The literature of kidnappings in Malaysia is clear-cut. Personal and financial motives are the norm, and ransom paying as the means of resolution is commonplace.”

(2) “Why do I get the feeling that the kidnapping of this individual is just another symptom and that nobody is interested in addressing the cause? I may be wrong, and there is ample evidence in my opinion pieces that I never had a problem in publicly stating when I have been wrong, but this case reeks of something sinister.”

Why would the IGP release details of the case to the general public before informing the family of Pastor Koh? To be fair I have no idea if they have informed the family, but one would assume that they would inform the family as part of the investigation by interviewing the family and associates of Pastor Koh if there had been any contact between the members of this syndicate and the abducted pastor.

Secrecy would be crucial as to not to alert other members of this syndicate and to preserve evidence obtained from suspects and other persons of interests of this new development. By alerting the public to this new development, members of the syndicate would learn that they have been compromised, that evidence linking them to a specific high profile crime has been discovered and that associates of theirs have been arrested by the state.

This is perhaps one of the most high-profile cases in Malaysian history. Though the authorities would deny it there are racial and religious overtones to this case because of the way how political parties have gone after Christians especially Christian evangelicals. Rumours are swirling of not only Pastor Koh but also how the state has handled this case and the manner in which the pastor was abducted.

By revealing information that the Pastor was under surveillance by this syndicate and the license plate of the vehicle the pastor was driving when he was abducted, the state seems to be laying the ground work that these are not merely “leads” but a breakthrough in the case. Again if you are building a case, why release such information and compromise the case.

Apparently the most important leads – the license plate and photos – were retrieved after the shooting from the house of the suspect. This begs the question if these syndicate members were on the radar of the state security apparatus for major crimes then why were they not aware that this syndicate was surveilling a pastor in a major city...

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