Joshua Hilmy inquiry: Retired senior cop threatens to walk out of inquiry

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A retired senior police officer threatened to walk out of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission inquiry into missing Pastor Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu today after he was asked a question he had answered earlier. 

Awaluddin Jadid, who is former Special Branch extremism division chief, did this when questioned about a speech he had given in 2016 on Shia extremism.

“Why is the talk (on Shia) being raised? I already gave the same answer during the previous inquiry (on missing Amri Che Mat).

“You call me out of retirement (to attend an inquiry). I feel like walking out. You can refer to the previous transcripts,” he told the Suhakam inquiry today angrily.

Awaluddin was responding to a question on the talk at the Youth Seminar Against Terrorism he had given, where he warned against the Shia movement in the country

Suhakam commissioner Hishamudin Yunus then told Awaluddin he needs to be calm and composed.

“You still represent the image of the police. Whatever answers you give we will include it in our conclusion later on.”

Awaluddin said his 2016 speech was to remind Muslims to strengthen their faith.

He also said Joshua, a Malay who had converted to Christianity and his wife Ruth were not being monitored by his department.

“They were not considered extremists,” he said, adding that he had no issues with those converting.

Hishamudin then asked if he had any data on Muslim converts to other religions.

Awaluddin said if there is any issue of apostasy, police will pass the information to the religious department.

“We pass it to them (religious authorities). Then they will take action.”

Lawyer Philip Koh, who is representing Ruth’s family, asked Awaluddin about his statement police are neutral.

“In your statement you said police must follow the law. They don’t conduct any other activities and police are neutral in terms of religion, politics and other issues.”

Awaluddin said their duty is not to allow the apostasy issue to grow.

Hishamudin then asked if conversion to other religions was wrong.

“It is the right of individuals to convert. We are more concerned about the reaction (on conversion),” Awaluddin said.

Meanwhile, a witness told the inquiry today that she had met missing pastors Raymond Koh and Joshua Hilmy to get cured of “evil spirits”.

Former lecturer Fadzlina Amran said that she was introduced to Koh and Joshua in the hope of getting cured from her ailment.

She said she vomited a nail and glass shards and had experienced hysteria since she was young.

“I went to many ustaz but my problems were still there. We used to experience paranormal incidents where someone kept knocking at the door, but no one was there.

“There were also incidents where teacups flew, and my husband looked possessed.

“At this point, I was trying anything to get rid of the demons,” she told the Suhakam inquiry today.

Yesterday, her husband Iqbal Mirza Mohd Jalaluddin said they were introduced to Joshua by a friend in January 2015.

Fadzlina said she and her husband went to see both pastors but were unknowingly baptised by Joshua.

“I was bathed by Ruth Sitepu (Joshua’s wife) while my husband was bathed by Joshua. We were both clothed.

“He uttered some holy words and then we were done.”

Suhakam Commissioner Hishamuddin Yunus asked why she went to see Joshua.

Fadzlina said she heard from some people that the pastor can help her cure her problems.

The Suhakam officer then asked her if she knew the meaning of the word “baptise”.

She said she knew it was a “Christian word”.

“But we went there for healing, that’s two different things,” she added.

Fadzlina said she and her husband had met Koh through a friend from Harapan Community, which was run by the pastor.

“We met Koh in late 2015 or early 2016. He then bathed us and our two children and about four to five people in a pool at his friend’s house near the Curve.”

She said the last time she saw Koh was when he and his wife came and visited them one week after the bathing ritual.

Hishamudin asked if she had recovered after the bathing rituals, to which Fadzlina said she still experienced disturbances from spirits.

“We are not blaming anyone (for not getting cured). We are just striving to get cured.

“We went there sincerely hoping to get cured.”

Commissioner Jerald Joseph asked if she got upset that she wasn’t cured.

She said they were not upset and continued to look at all avenues to get cured.

Fadzlina also told the inquiry that she had also experienced a bathing ritual in 2014 with another pastor who she could only recall as Viktor.

The inquiry was then told that Viktor has since passed away.

The inquiry continues on Monday.

Related report:

Jan 5, Joshua Hilmy Inquiry: Witness alleges baptism by Hilmy