Public inquiry into disappeared Christian couple will resume
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will resume the public inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth, who were last seen in November 2016, once the conditional movement control order (CMCO) is lifted.
According to Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph, they would first wait for the government’s decision to see if the conditional movement control order (MCO) would be extended. The MCO is due to end on the 9th of June.
“The Suhakam office just opened this week. We will finalise the dates by checking with the lawyers and stakeholders,” Joseph told the Star, a local media group on the 2nd of June.
Little is known about the disappearance of the Hilmy couple except that they were last seen on the 30th of November 2016, and reported missing on the 6th of March 2017. The inquiry has heard that the couple intended to flee the country after receiving threatening phone calls and emails over Joshua’s alleged conversion of Muslims to Christianity.
The inquiry also learned that Hilmy has been baptising people, from as far back as 2011. The baptisms were mainly conducted in bathrooms using a showerhead, while one was conducted in a pond. In Malaysia, Muslim citizens cannot convert to other faiths without consent of a Shariah court, as Islam is the country’s official religion.
In April last year, Suhakam held similar inquiries into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat. The inquiry into the disappearances of the two men concluded that they were abducted by state agents, Special Branch from Bukit Aman.