IGP: Vig­ils, ru­mours en­dan­ger pas­tor’s life

New Straits Times - - News -

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.

Ray­mond Koh

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