IGP: Vigils, rumours endanger pastor’s life
GEORGE TOWN: InspectorGeneral of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar warns the public not to spread rumours or discuss the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh, and urged them to allow police to do their work.
He said candlelight vigils, rumours and media coverage were making it difficult for police to find Koh.
“You are only endangering the pastor’s life. We had cases where kidnappers held on to victims for months until it was safe to respond.
“I urge everyone to allow us to do our work and not put his life in danger. To be blunt, I will say, ‘please shut up’.”
On claims that “special forces” had abducted Koh “professionally”, as shown in a video that went viral, Khalid said the professionalism of those involved in abductions was nothing new.
“Did you see the murder of Geng Satu Hati (members)? Did you see how organised they were?”
He said police were looking at three angles — one involved personal issues, while the others involved extremists groups and kidnap-for-ransom gangs.
“We plan to take more statements from Koh’s family. We hope they will tell us whatever they have not told us. Just let us do our job, and do not play private investigator.
“We have some leads. Allow us to continue to investigate.”
Koh, 62, was abducted by masked men near Kelana Jaya in Selangor on Feb 13.
Khalid took a shot at Parti Amanah Negara vice-president Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s offer to negotiate with those who had abducted Koh.
“He wants to be a negotiator? If there are no calls from the abductors, then who are you going to negotiate with?
“Just be quiet and don’t do anything. You are making the police’s work more difficult.”
The pastor’s son, Jonathan Koh, said the family would abide by the police’s advice against holding vigils.
He said the vigils were not organised by the family and were a way for people to show support for the family.
“We believe the IGP has reasons for asking us not to hold vigils. They probably have leads, but because of media coverage, there may be danger for my dad. “We will take his advice seriously and allow the police to investigate.”
He said prior to the abduction, the family did not receive threats or noticed suspicious individuals.
He said he provided a contact number to the public to allow the abductors to contact the family if there was a demand for a ransom.
On the closed-circuit television camera footage, he said his family was not responsible for releasing it.
He said the footage was given only to the police to protect the identity of the houseowners who installed the CCTV.
He said his mother, Susanna Liew, was unable to talk and most traumatised by the ordeal than anyone else in the family.