KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s 33rd assassination bid in 4 months or the 10th in 11 days has occurred. A 26-year-old man was seriously injured after he was gunned down in Pondok Labu, Kedah at about 10pm Tuesday night.
Police have yet to release the details but it is believed the victim was inside his house when an unidentified assailant whipped out a gun and fired a shot.
The victim was rushed to the Hospital Kulim and is reported to be in a critical condition.
Out of control crime?
The latest contract-style hit is bound to further depress the Malaysian public. Suddenly citizens are faced with the fact that nothing can be done because Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government may have left it too late. Crime may well be out of control in Malaysia.
Just two days ago, a rubber tapper
died after he was shot while having a drink at a stall with friends.
Based on a tabulation obtained from the Star newspaper, the 40-year-old Amirul Tajo Nasir would have been the country’s 32nd shooting victim since April 12.
died at Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in Kubang Kerian. Gunshot wounds were found on the chest, stomach and buttocks. According to Kelantan deputy police chief Mazlan Lazim, Amirul was with two friends when two men on a motorcycle stopped about two metres from the stall in Kampung Gong Mengkeleh, Pasir Putih at dawn on Monday.
The pillion rider then opened fire at the victim. Police believe Amirul was shot at least six times.
“We offer our prayers for the latest victim’s recovery but we also hope the police, the Home Minister and Prime Minister Najib Razak himself will stop pointing fingers all round except at themselves,” PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.
“For example, what is the use for Zahid to say the police are under-staffed and not to be blamed. Who is blaming the ordinary police personnel in the first place? What we all want are not excuses or the PM and the Home Minister pretending to be good guys and protecting the police. Who will protect the rakyat (the people) then? What we need is action, otherwise we should have the resignations of the IGP, Zahid and even Najib himself for failing to plan and manage the security of this country.”
Indiscriminate and across the board killings
The Opposition politician was referring to a call from Home Minister Zahid Hamidi not to blame the police for the rising lack in public safety, while a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office had hit out at critics, saying Najib should not be faulted for the spike in crime.
But as Jui Meng pointed out, who then is to blame. And more to the point, how can Malaysians regain control of their environment.
So far, the victims of the assassination bids are from all walks of life – from the richest segment of Malaysia’s society to the poorest. None of the major ethic groups were spared.
In other words, the killings were indiscriminate and lends credence to talk that death was very cheap in Malaysia. Apparently, one can hire an assassin for just RM1,000 because the risk of the Malaysia police tracing and capturing the assassin was deemed low.
Assassins come cheap because the police are viewed as incompetent?
This is indeed a sad reflection on the competency of the police force, whose staffing has been slanted with priority given to non-crime fighting units.
A shocking number have also been detailed to carry out investigations against Opposition rivals and civil society activists.
For example, Cynthia Gabriel , a member of top NGO Suaram has been summoned to the Petaling Jaya police headquarters this afternoon to give her statement. She is being investigated for sedition because of a Suaram dinner held last month to raise funds for the trial in Paris where Najib’s alleged involvement in the Scorpene submarines corruption case may be uncovered. The Scorpene link to the sensational Altantuya Shaariibuu murder here, in which Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor were accused of involvement, is also being scrutinized by the French investigative judges.
“Quality of policing has direct implications on crime rate. If the detection rate is high, potential criminals would refrain from committing crime for fear of being arrested and convicted. If they are confident they can act with impunity, be it poor policing or bribery, crime rate will skyrocket as we are experiencing now,” Chang Lih Kang, another Opposition politician and the assemblyman for Teja, had said in a statement sent to Malaysia Chronicle.
“Hence, the Home Minister and the police force should pay heed in improving quality of policing rather than demanding another piece of legislation that allows detention without trial. Resorting to archaic law that violates fundamental rights of citizens in order to curb crime rate will only reflect incompetency of our police force.”
Lack of independent check to ensure the police developed in line with society’s needs
Attempts by civil society leaders and the Opposition to set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission have fallen on deaf years since 2006.
Some experts have opined the IPCMC, aimed at cleaning up the corruption-tainted police force and instilling greater discipline and diligent work culture, could have made a huge difference to Malaysia’s sprawling and rather flabby police force. They believe the police force would be in much better shape than it currently is if the IPCMC had been implemented.
However, as underscored by the series of unstoppable assassinations, it is quite clear that Najib and his government have lost the battle against crime.
It is also moot whether the IPCMC’s rejection stemmed from links between the top cops, politicians and the underworld or was foiled due to the ruling Umno party’s wish to curry favor with police members so as to maintain its political control over the country.
What is inescapable now is that Najib and team are not able to formulate solutions despite the current dire situation.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has called for a concerted bi-partisan effort. Again, the suggestion has been snubbed by the Najib administration, which is now calling for a revival of draconian detention laws such as the Emergency Ordinance and the Internal Security Act.
EO, ISA only made the police lazy and flabby
But as critics have pointed out, whether new or revived, detention laws cannot curb the spike in violent crime and would only overflow the country’s detention centres.
Critics also said Najib and his ministers must confront the fact that one of the core reasons for the inability of Malaysia’s security forces to combat crime is the low quality of the policing work due to decades of being pampered by politicians wishing to manipulate the force for their vested political interests.
“Before it was repealed, EO was rampantly used by the executive to detain suspects whom they could not prove wrong in the court. It was at the whim and fancy of the executive to detain or release a suspect even if there were not a shred of evidence,” said Lih Kang.
“This has led to utterly poor policing because the police do not need to justify their arrests with proof in the court of justice.”
Including the above-reported 2 attacks, there are now a total of 33 shooting incidents since April 12, based on a tabulation by the Star newspaper:
Saturday, Aug 3
Kajang: A man who was released from prison last month, Balamurali Balakrishnan, was shot four times while napping at his home. He died at the scene.
Friday, Aug 2
Pandan Indah: Gold dealer Wong Foo Yui was shot in the shoulder while waiting in his car for the traffic light to change, but he managed to escape from the shooter.
Wednesday, July 31
Parit Buntar: Former EO detainee N. Jeevandran, 26, who was wanted by police over four criminal cases was shot dead at the intersection of Jalan Permai Utama near the District Education Office. The victim, from Taman Seri Semarak, was shot at close range by a suspect who fled.
Tuesday, July 30
Mentakab: Several shots were fired into the house and a car belonging to a businessman. At least five empty 9mm casings were recovered at the crime scene. The back window of the car was shattered with three bullet holes while at least two other shots hit the porch area and the exterior wall.
Monday, July 29
Bukit Mertajam: G. Santhanasamy, 30, from Kulim, Kedah, was injured in the legs when he was shot at while waiting at a traffic light junction along Jalan Mengkuang.
Sunday, July 28
Ipoh: Jasrafveenderjeet Singh, 25, died due to a gunshot wound in the neck, while other two victims, aged 28 and 55, were hurt and needed treatment at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HRPB). It is understood the victims were drinking at a restaurant near the Kampung Simee when they were shot.
Saturday, July 27
Jempol: Chairman of crime watchdog MyWatch, Sri Sanjeevan Ramakrishan, was shot while sitting in his car with a friend in Bahau. He has since been sent to the Serdang Hospital but the bullet has yet to be extracted.
July 26: Temerloh: A lorry driver from Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan (PPK) Temerloh was wounded in the arm after being shot while on the way to Jerantut. The man was sent to Hospital Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah to be treated.
July 18: Kulim: A gunman fired nine bullets, killing a 45-year-old teacher at a traffic light junction at Simpang Empat Keladi .
July 15: Kampar: A 51-year-old man and his son were shot after breaking fast in an armed robbery at Taman Sejahtera. The man and his 13-year-old son were critically injured after being hit by shots fired by one of two robbers who broke into their home. The victim was hit in the abdomen while his son suffered injuries in the right thigh.
July 12: George Town: A four-year-old boy was injured in the forehead and left leg when a gunman opened fire at him and his car repossessor father in front of their home in Bukit Jambul.
July 8: Bachok: Student affairs senior assistant Hashim Mat Zain, 43 was gunned down in a gangland-style killing while leaving his school in Tawang near Bachok, Kelantan.
July 5: Pasir Mas: Teacher Mat Zaki Hashim, 35, sustained serious injuries after being shot in the neck in Kampung Kubang Panjang. His car was believed to have stalled on the road before he was shot by unknown assailants.
June 15: Putrajaya: Royal Malaysian Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim, 58 was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle at a traffic junction in Putrajaya.
June 14: Kuala Kurau: A businessman, Lim Kong Hai, 52 was seriously injured after being shot in the abdomen by robbers near the Kuala Kurau bus station. However, he died of a heart attack two weeks later, just as he was about to be discharged.
June 6: Muar: Tan Chai Heng, 51, with gunshot wounds on his face was found lying in a park, about 30 meters from his house. Based on the injuries under his right eye, the victim was believed to have been shot with a pistol from close range. His body was found by a neighbour.
June 4: Taiping: Garage owner Govindaraju @ Murthy, 36 died while his friend A. Manivannan, was injured after being shot at a restaurant in Taman Kota Jaya. A gunman was believed to have fired three shots at them.
May 29: Kuala Lumpur: A businessman survived despite being shot at seven times by two men on a motorcycle in Bandar Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.
May 12: Butterworth: Two men, S. Kannan, 37 and G.Suresh, 28, were killed while two others were seriously injured after being shot at while stopping at a traffic light junction of Bukit Tambun. The attack is believed to be related to their businesses. The four had come from Malacca to attend their friend’s wedding.
May 11: Seremban: Two men, Chalidass, 29 and G.Surentharan, 31, died and their two friends were shot at close range their four-wheel-drive stopped at a traffic light intersection here.
May 12: Cheras: Police volunteers N.Saravanan and his friend Tamil Selvam were both injured when shot after an argument.
May 11: Lunas: Shop assistant Thangaraja, 31, was found dead in his car with 10 gunshot wounds at an intersection near Taman Kucai in Lunas.
May 9: Alor Setar: Tow truck operator M. Nagenthiran, 30, died from three gunshots near his flat at Taman Setia Jaya. One gunshot wound was found on his head and another two on his back.
May 8: Tangkak: Engineer Muthu Pillai, 41, was found dead with three gunshot wounds in an oil palm plantation.
April 30: Taiping: A pillion rider fired at a man in the compound of his home in Simpang but missed. The men rode up to the house of the 26-year-old victim and called out his name before firing.
April 25: Seremban: N. Ragunathan, 39, was shot dead in his car after he had apparently conducted a transaction at the Road Transport Department (JPJ) office along Jalan Seremban-Tampin. He was alone in his Proton Perdana when two men rode up alongside his car outside the JPJ office.
April 26: Cheras: R. Karikaalan, 29, died on the way to hospital after hit by two of the 10 shots that were fired by two men on a motorcycle while his 60-year-old mother was wounded in the right arm.
April 25: Tampin: A runner for the Road Transport Department, N. Ragunathan ,39, was shot dead in his car by one of two people on a motorcycle.
April 16: Taiping: K Muthazagen, 47, was killed when bullets fired from close range penetrated his head. During the incident, the victim was eating alone at a restaurant in the area without realising the presence of the suspect.
April 14: Seremban: Tan Kok Soon, 56, was shot at close range while having dinner with his family at a restaurant in Oakland Commercial Centre.
April 12: Seremban: James John, 45, was shot dead in his car at traffic lights around Taman Sri Labu by two men on a motorcycle.