Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu were troubled after receiving a phone call before they went missing, a Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry heard today.
Grace Thangamalar, the daughter of Joshua’s friend, Peter Pormannan, said she heard from a Sabahan couple living with temporarily with the pastor and his wife that Joshua argued with someone over the phone in 2016.
“The Sabahan said that it was a heated conversation. They told me they heard Joshua on the phone saying: ‘I didn’t disturb you, why are you disturbing me,” she told the inquiry.
Grace is the second witness in the inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua, a Muslim convert, and Ruth.
Grace and her brother stayed with the couple when she was studying in college from 2015 to 2017.
She also told the inquiry that the police took her statement last week, four years after the incident.
The 27-year-old, who works as a logistics executive in Klang, said this was not the first incident with the couple.
“Another time, they left abruptly in their car. After a month, they called us and asked if anyone had called or if there was any disturbance,” she told the hearing.
Suhakam officers then asked Grace if she enquired why they went away for a month.
She said that Ruth told her that there was some threat and they had to leave immediately.
“It all happened when a family of four came to stay in his home, which was always open to all races and sometimes foreigners.”
Suhakam officers then asked if she was aware when they went missing and what was her reaction.
“We experienced this before, so we thought they would return.
“Then, after a month, I told my father about them going missing.”
The couple vanished from Petaling Jaya on November 30, 2016.
Earlier report: Feb 18, Joshua Hilmy Inquiry: Religious Authorities Sought Pastor over His Religion