Pastor Koh's wife denies 'rebuking' PM over taskforce
Published:  Jun 28, 2019 10:48 AM
Updated: 10:48 AM

Susanna Koh, who is the wife of missing activist Pastor Raymond Koh, has denied "rebuking" Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad or "taking him to task" over the taskforce set up to investigate her husband and activist Amri Che Mat's disappearance.

In a statement this evening, Susanna referred to a Malaysiakini news report on the matter published this morning.

She said the news portal gave a wrong slant to the family's plea and concerns with regard to the taskforce.

“For Malaysiakini to make a statement like that is most disappointing because we are in no position to take anybody to task or rebuke any authority.

“All we can do is plead to the good conscience of our beloved PM and the Pakatan (Harapan) government that we fully supported.

“We are pleading with the PM and with the home minister to help us get to the bottom of what happened to my husband and to the father of my children by the appointment of an independent, impartial and credible task force,” she added.

Conflict of interest

The earlier Malaysiakini report was based on what Susanna and her lawyer Jerald Gomez had told The Malaysian Insight in response to Mahathir defending the taskforce against criticism regarding its composition, saying, “We cannot please everyone.”

Critics had argued that the task force members included those who had a direct involvement with the police, which has been implicated by a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) probe in Raymond and Amri Che Mat's disappearance. 

For instance, Mokhtar Mohd Noor, the police legal division head, had a direct interest in the Suhakam probe. Mokhtar had made submissions on behalf of the police during the public inquiry held by Suhakam.

Susanna told The Malaysian Insight that her family is hoping for an independent and credible taskforce to probe her husband's disappearance.

"It’s not about pleasing people. It’s about doing what is right, (obeying the) basic principles of fairness and equality," she had said.

Susanna had also pointed out that it was Mahathir who had been talking about upholding the rule of law.

'Disband task force'

She added that her family, and the families of other victims of alleged enforced disappearances, however, have not received the justice they deserve.

"The government owes it to them and the whole country – the truth and nothing but the truth. We can only know the truth of what happened to Koh, Amri, Joshua Hilmy and (Hilmy's wife) Ruth (Sitepu) if credible people are put on the task force," she added.

Gomez, on the other hand, told The Malaysian Insight that Koh's family wanted the government to disband the task force and set up a new one.

"The PM should appreciate that we are talking about the basic principles of fairness and equality. (It is) not about pleasing anyone.

"It was the PM who said his government would uphold and follow the rule of law, and that includes natural justice and the rule against being bias," he was quoted as saying.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article had interpreted Susanna and Gomez's comments as taking the prime minister to task. Malaysiakini regrets if the earlier article had conveyed a different meaning to what Susanna and Gomez intended to express.

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