Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 25th May 2010:
Another case of police shooting death involving 18-yr old Mohd Afham – PR proposes to convene another Parliamentary Roundtable on fatal police shootings as well as to revisit Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission Report 2005
Another case of police shooting death has surfaced – and I fully support the demand of the aggrieved mother Sapiah Elah, 52, from Simpang Waha Felda, Kota Tinggi for an independent commission to investigate into the fatal police shooting of her son on Mohd Afham Arin, 18, October 20 last year.
Sapiah said Mohd Afham was a good son who did not have any previous criminal record.
Mohd Afham, who was believed to be involved in snatch thefts, was riding the motorcycle with 19-year-old Mohd Firdaus Marsani as pillion rider, in Taman Johor Jaya after having dinner.
Mohd Firdaus, who also demanded justice in the case, refuted the police allegation that he had waved a machete at the policemen, thus forcing the policemen to shoot at them in self-defence.
He related yesterday that he and Mohd Afham were chased by three men on motorcycles. He said the three men were in plainclothes and did not show their authority cards, and out of fear Mohd Afham sped off towards Pasir Gudang with the three men giving chase.
"On reaching a corner near the bridge on the route to Seri Alam, I heard a gunshot from behind followed by two more shots which caused us to fall from the motorcycle," recalled Mohd Firdaus who managed to flee the scene after falling into some bushes.
He claimed that the death of Mohd Afham who was a student of the Ledang Community College and was undergoing training in Larkin, Johor Bahru, was due to police negligence.
Mohd Firdaus gave a statement to the police on the incident in January but until today had not received any feedback from them.
Only last Wednesday, a police report was lodged by Port Klang operator, 25-year-old Sharil Azlan Ahmad Kamil, who was shot at a roadblock in Shah Alam in April last year.
The Port Klang Northport worker said the bullet slug, which hit his arm and penetrated his ribcage, remains lodged close to his spine. He said doctors told him there was a high risk of him being paralysed if surgery is performed to remove the slug.
Sharil said he was driving back home to Kapar with a friend after a drink at a restaurant in Section 7, Shah Alam at about 12.30am on April 16, 2009 when he came across a police roadblock.
Realising his road tax had expired, he said he panicked and pulled over to evade the police.
Sharil alleged that two plainclothes policemen armed with sticks approached them and on seeing this he turned off at a lane. He said he then heard at least three gunshots fired and he and his friend ducked inside the car to avoid the shots.
However, the last gunshot which went through his car door hit him.
These two accounts of police shootings last year sound very familiar with cases of police abuses of firearms and remind Malaysians of the totally inexcusable fatal police shooting of 14-year-old Form III student Aminulrasyid Amzah in Shah Alam in the early hours of April 26, 2010 some 100 metres from his house.
Two weeks ago, just before the Cabinet meeting of 12th May 2010, I sent an Open Tweet to the Prime Minister and all other Ministers asking the Cabinet to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to end the spate of trigger-happy police shootings which have resulted in unacceptable fatalities, and that such a Royal Commission should inquire into all cases of police shootings as well as fatal police shootings from 2005.
The surfacing of the case of the fatal police killing of teenager Mohd Afham Arin October 20 last year has strengthened the case for such a Royal Commission of Inquiry, and if the Cabinet reminds blind and deaf to public concerns about deteriorating standards of police efficiency, accountability and professionalism, especially on trigger-happy police shootings, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat will make this a top priority issue in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament beginning on June 7 till July 13.
I will also propose that Pakatan Rakyat convene another Police Parliamentary Roundtable on police shootings inviting participation of NGOs and the civil society during the 22-day parliamentary meeting which also revisit the the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission Report 2005 and its 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional and world-class police service focusing on the three core functions of keeping crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor