Pastor Koh inquiry: Counsel questions Jais on DUMC raid

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor Islamic Religious Department's (Jais) raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in 2011 was conducted without proper documentation.

Zaaba Zakaria, who headed the Jais team on that night, told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia's (Suhakam) inquiry that the police were informed to provide assistance a few hours before the raid.

Zaaba added around 20 police officers were then dispatched to assist Jais in the raid on DUMC – which was having a thanksgiving dinner hosted by an organisation headed by Pastor Raymond Koh.

Koh's family lawyer Steven Thiru had earlier asked whether Jais had provided a report made by a complainant to the police in justifying the raid.

"You are saying that the police were prepared to send 20 officers in assisting the raid merely from what you said? ... Did you show the document to the police?" Thiru asked, to which Zaaba replied, No!

The three-panel inquiry, chaired by Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, was held over the disappearance of Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Joshua and his wife, Ruth Hilmi.

In 2011, Koh who was executive director of community group Harapan Komuniti ran into issues with Jais when he organised the multi-racial event attended by Muslims and non-Muslims at DUMC.

The event was disrupted when Jais accompanied by police raided the church following claims that the organising group had held the gathering in an attempt to allegedly entice Muslims to convert to Christianity.

Zaaba said that the police were informed on the basis of the report, but the identity of its complainant was never disclosed to the police.

He added the police had never asked for the paper before agreeing to assist Jais in the raid.

Zaaba also stated that he was unsure whether the police had asked about the identity of the complainant when the former were being questioned after Koh's abduction.

He added the details of the complaint could not be revealed as it was considered as "secret".

When asked why such important information could not be revealed even to the authorities, Zaaba said it was for security of the complainant.

On the morning of Feb 13, the 62-year-old Koh was abducted by a group of masked men less than 100m from a police housing complex in SS4, Kelana Jaya.