IGP tells media to ‘shut up’ over pastor’s abduction for his safety

By Opalyn Mok
IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Clare Rewcastle-Brown should make an effort to provide evidence to support the accusations against various lawmakers on her website. — Bernama pic

GEORGE TOWN, March 7 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar wants the media and others to stop reporting and talking about the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh who has been missing since February 13.

He also urged a stop to candlelight vigils nationwide to pray for the safety of the pastor who was abducted by masked men in broad daylight.

“I like to again and again [sic] call upon everyone to just allow us to do our work and not to put this pastor into more danger, or I should say, please shut up and allow us to do our work,” he told reporters after opening a police conference here today.

He said the police have some leads now on the abduction and reiterated his warning to the media not to spotlight the case.

“Let me tell you now, we have some leads. Allow us to continue investigating this lead. Don’t spoil our lead now by discussing it openly because this is only putting the pastor’s life in danger,” he said.

Khalid said police are looking at the case from three angles: the first being the pastor’s personal issues, second being extremist activities and third being kidnap-for-ransom.

He urged the pastor’s family to reveal everything so police can rule out angle number one.

On kidnap-for-ransom, he said the less the case was discussed and publicised, the better the police’s chances of securing his safe release.

“We have cases where kidnappers will hold onto victims for months and they will only response when it is safe for them to do so,” he said, adding that it would not be the first case where “kidnap for ransom” groups kept quiet for a long time.

Khalid also said criminals are now bolder and more organised due to influences from television and movies.

“Don’t make accusations, have you not seen the murder of the Geng Satu Hati? You see how organised they are,” he said, when asked about allegations that the abduction may be a “secret government operation” due to the seemingly professionally executed abduction in broad daylight by seven vehicles and about 10 masked men.

He called for calm to let the police conduct their work properly instead of revealing their information through the media.

The wife of abducted Pastor Raymond Koh had earlier today urged the public to cease undue speculation and unverified allegations regarding the case, despite admitting that there are no significant leads on the case yet.

Susanna Liew Sow Yoke also said she has received assurances yesterday from both Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, and SAC Fadzil Ahmat who heads the task force investigating the abduction.

Koh was reportedly taken by a group of masked men from his car on a public road in Petaling Jaya over three weeks ago but no ransom demands have been made.

The Selangor police has set up a special task force to find the 62-year-old, while Koh’s family is offering a reward of RM100,000 to anyone with information on his whereabouts.