Former Malaysian minister refutes allegations that he told missing activist to leave the country

Former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has rubbished allegations that he sent emails to missing activist Joshua Hilmy warning him that he should leave the country.

"I strongly deny this claim. I do not personally know Joshua Hilmy, Ruth Hilmy or Selvakumar Peace John Harris.

"I would like to state unequivocally that I have never communicated with Joshua Hilmy either through emails or in any other form of communication. The testimony of Selvakumar Peace John Harris relating to me is untrue," said Khairy in a statement on Monday (March 2).

He said this in response to articles reporting the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry regarding the disappearance of Joshua and Ruth Hilmy.

Selvakumar, a witness, had told the inquiry on Monday that a politician had allegedly told missing activist Joshua to "leave the country".

He claimed that Joshua told him this was related to his baptism of a Malay couple back in January 2015.

Selvakumar, who is the fifth witness in the inquiry, said that he had witnessed for himself the baptism of the Malay couple in the bathroom of his house in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya on Jan 1, 2015.

Joshua, who is from Taiping, was a Muslim before converting to Christianity.

The panel of inquiry is chaired by commissioner Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus and assisted by commissioners Jerald Joseph and Dr Madeline Berma.

The hearings commenced from Feb 18 at Suhakam headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

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Suhakam initiated investigations in connection with the disappearances under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act.

Ruth, who is an Indonesian, was reported missing along with Joshua back in November 2016. Both of them were married in 2004.

In April of last year, Suhakam concluded in their inquiries that Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat were victims of "enforced disappearance by state agents".

In announcing the findings of the public inquiry on April 3, Suhakam had said that there was "direct and circumstantial evidence which proves, on balance of probabilities, that he was abducted by state agents, by Special Branch, Bukit Aman".