Malaysian embassy helps ensure 'missing' activist Peter Chong's safe return

Teoh Pei Ying and Olivia Miwil

KUALA LUMPUR: Peter Chong, the former Petaling Jaya councillor, who was reported missing and then returned two weeks later had sought the help from the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok to arrange for his journey home.

In a statement today, the embassy said Chong, 54, had contacted them on Apr 15.

“He informed us that he was in Pattaya and we helped manage the money sent by Chong's family from Malaysia.

“He boarded Malindo Airlines at 9.05am on Sunday to return to Malaysia via Don Mueang International Airport,” the statement said.

The embassy said Bukit Aman had notified Malaysia Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussain on Chong's disappearance last Monday after police discovered he had crossed the Bukit Kayu Hitam border to Thailand on Apr 7.

The embassy then requested assistance from Thai authorities to trace Chong's whereabouts.

Chong re-emerged yesterday after disappearing for about two weeks.

He claimed that he was abducted while in HatYai, Thailand, where he had been all this time.

He told police that he had gone to HatYai to meet a source claiming to have information on the whereabouts of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo, who was allegedly abducted in Petaling Jaya, on Feb 13.

However, upon reaching the southern Thai city, Chong claimed he was abducted and taken north, to Pattaya.

The identity of his abductor and the motive for his alleged kidnapping is unknown.

His return was announced by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, when he tweeted two pictures of the activist, believed to have been taken at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at about 1pm.

Khalid said police recorded Chong’s statement upon his arrival at the airport.

Chong went missing on April 6, in the wake of the alleged abduction of fellow activist, Koh. Chong’s family lodged a police report a day after his disappearance.

About a week before he disappeared, Chong left a cryptic post on his Facebook page which raised fears for his safety.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Khalid said Chong's disappearance had caused panic to his family and worry on others.

He said police would be contacting their counterpart in Thailand to determine if Chong had lodged a police report that he was abducted.

“(This shows that) claims by certain quarters are not true.

“We have yet to get any information (about his 'abduction) but will contact the Thai police if he had lodged a report there.” he said after delivering speech during the CEO@faculty programme at Universiti Malaysia Sabah here.