COMMENT | Fifty days after his mysterious disappearance, Pastor Raymond Koh’s abduction continues to be a major concern to the Christian community both in Malaysia and worldwide.
His disappearance remains a mystery to some, but a cause of speculation for many. If not for a closed-circuit television (CCTV) video clip that went viral, most of us would have wondered what happened to Pastor Koh. Others, including one Joshua Hilmy and his wife, have also gone missing at around the same time as a social activist, Amri Che Mat.
Within just 42 seconds, 15 men behaving like one of the elite squads as seen on TV ‘snatched’ Pastor Koh and took him away to an unknown place.
Despite the evidence from the CCTV cameras installed at a nearby house, and not forgetting that roads in the Klang Valley are installed with CCTV cameras, we are still clueless about who did it. This has raised a lot of concerns and the need for the Christian community to come together in prayer.
As it appears, prayer services and candlelight vigils will continue to be held for the 62-year-old pastor - or at least until his release by the captors. At every vigil, the Christians are praying for the special task force which has been set up to investigate the abduction.
The latest vigil held in Kota Kinabalu had attracted some 3,500 people, while both Sibu and Kuching recorded attendances of another 3,000 and 2,000 respectively.
Christians in both East and West Malaysia felt a strong sense of unity to stand in solidarity with the abducted pastor and his family. The observation was made by Bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia, Rev Dr Ong Hwai Teik.
Dr Ong was amongst those who spoke during the special prayer service held on the 50th day since Pastor Koh’s disappearance, where some 500 people representing at least 80 churches turned up at SS Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Ong listed out the cities and churches that had held candlelight and prayer vigils for Pastor Koh.
Come this Saturday at 8.30pm, Suaram and other civil societies are also holding a vigil for Koh and others who have also disappeared.
Among others who were also present included the general-secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia, Dr Hermen Shastri, Catholic Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim and Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia Ng Moon Hing.
Dr Shastri said that World Council of Churches (WCC) office based in Geneva has expressed their deepest concerns over the disappearance of Pastor Koh.
Dr Ong said that Koh is a gentleman and a faithful servant of God. “Raymond just wanted to serve the marginalised community in our midst,” he said.
Koh’s wife, Susanna Liew, said that her husband left his religious career and set up Harapan Komuniti to serve the marginalised community. “Having come from a poor family background himself, Pastor Raymond had a deep sense of obligation to help those who are in need, without turning away anyone,” she said.
To date, no ransom demand has been made to the family. After all, how much could a poor pastor fetch to warrant the abduction by 15 men and a convoy of vehicles?
Liew said for many weeks she has been urging the media and the public to be supportive of the police investigation.
“The questions and suspicion of who did it and why they did it persist,” she said.
“Malaysians are asking how could such an outrageous thing can happen right here in Malaysia to a man of faith and a charity worker?”...