Pas­tor’s fam­ily more wary about info

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: An ex­tor­tion at­tempt has made the fam­ily of miss­ing Pas­tor Ray­mond Koh more cau­tious about in­for­ma­tion they get on his where­abouts.

A source close to the fam­ily said it was a cruel act as it gave the fam­ily hope of Koh’s re­turn, only to re­alise later the in­for­ma­tion was false.

“The fam­ily is al­ready hav­ing a tough time cop­ing with the kid­nap­ping.

“They do not want to chase after false leads and there has been no cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

The source was re­fer­ring to an al­leged at­tempt by Uber driver Lam Chang Nam, 31, to ex­tort RM30,000 from Jonathan Koh Szu Hao, 33, the son of the miss­ing pas­tor, in Ke­lana Jaya on March 6.

He had since been charged in court.

Fam­ily mem­bers and friends have reg­u­larly held can­dle­light vigil at the Ke­lana Jaya Lake to pray for the re­lease and safety of the pas­tor.

Koh, 62, is be­lieved to have been ab­ducted by masked men in Jalan SS4B/10 on the morn­ing of Feb 13.

Po­lice have set up a spe­cial task force to in­ves­ti­gate the ab­duc­tion.

The kid­nap­ping trig­gered a pub­lic out­cry, es­pe­cially after video of Koh’s al­leged ab­duc­tion went vi­ral.

The video al­legedly showed Koh’s ab­duc­tion by 15 men in seven ve­hi­cles.

The act hap­pened un­der a minute, in what ap­peared to be a well-planned and pro­fes­sion­ally-ex­e­cuted op­er­a­tion.

A church mem­ber at the Da­mansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya, where Koh is an as­so­ciate pas­tor, said word had gone around that ne­go­ti­a­tions were on­go­ing for his re­lease, but the fam­ily pre­ferred to keep a low pro­file.

He added that if Koh re­turned safely, the pas­tor and his fam­ily would prob­a­bly leave the coun­try to re­cover from the in­ci­dent.

“Koh’s in­tegrity as a pas­tor could prove to be an ob­sta­cle to his re­lease.

“He is a God-fear­ing man. He will only speak the truth, if he is re­leased, and that may not sit well with his kid­nap­pers,” said the church mem­ber, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Meanwhile, some 200 peo­ple turned up at the Ke­lana Jaya Lake to pro­vide sup­port to Koh’s fam­ily.

A pas­tor led prayers for Koh’s safe re­turn.

Koh’s wife, Suzanna, ex­pressed her grat­i­tude for those who turned up for the hour-long vigil from 8.30pm and said there were no new de­vel­op­ments in the case.

BY FER­NANDO FONG PIC

Peo­ple at­tend­ing a can­dle­light vigil for Ray­mond Koh (in­set) at the Ke­lana Jaya Lake last night.

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