Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 25th July 2012:
Hishammuddin should initiate government action to compensate mechanical engineer Asrul for life
Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should initiate action for the government to compensate mechanical engineer Asrul Wadi Ahmad, 27, for life as a token of personal responsibility, remorse and recompense for police violence and brutality in indiscriminately and wantonly firing tear-gas canisters at participants of the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on April 28, rendering Asrul “clinically” blind and unemployable.
Asrul, who testified at the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into violence at the Bersih rally, gave a most heart-rending account of his plight when he was hit by a tear gas canister during the Bersih 3.0 rally.
Asrul had perfect 20/20 vision prior to the injury but visibility in his right eye has now been reduced to 15 percent. As a result, he may become unemployable as a mechanical engineer though he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn in February.
Asrul has consulted doctors from two private and three government hospitals and been told that the injury to his right eye cannot be reversed via medical procedures.
Asrul recounted at the Suhakam inquiry his horrendous experience at the Bersih 3.0 rally.
Moments before the incident, together with his father and younger brother, Asrul fled from the water feature at Jalan Tun Perak, adjacent to Dataran Merdeka.
He said: "We ran from the location when the tear gas was fired, the three of us took refuge in Masjid Jamek.
"A little while later we walked out of Masjid Jamek but because it was so crowded and chaotic, my brother and I were separated from our father.
"That was when I hit by the canister and fell to the ground. It was shot straight at me, I could see it coming.
"People around me carried me back into Masjid Jamek and then the paramedics came in an ambulance which took my brother and me to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.” (Malaysiakini)
Asrul's right eye required nine stitches and he had two more for wounds under his nose.
If Hishammuddin is not prepared to initiate action for the government to compensate Asrul for life, a nation-wide campaign should be launched to demand that Hishammuddin and the government should assume responsibility for Asrul’s eye injury and be responsible for life-long compensation to Asrul.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor