Saturday, August 24, 2013

DAP reiterates that there should be a public inquiry into the Penang shootings which resulted in 5 deaths.



Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Saturday, August 24, 2013
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DAP reiterates that there should be a public inquiry into the Penang shootings which resulted in 5 deaths.

It is reported that Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has today told Deputy Minister P. Waythamoorthy to quit the government if he was not happy with the way police had shot five suspected gang members in Penang, after having told him to toe the government line earlier.

3 days ago, in response to criticisms, the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid has stressed -“We don’t care what the critics say, we have a duty to carry out, and we will carry it out to ensure that Malaysians are safe (from crime)”.


Tan Sri Khalid has also earlier told reporters that the suspects shot at the police first, who were then forced to return in self defence.

I don’t wish to get involved in the spat between Datuk Zahid and Waythamoorthy but I wish to reiterate the DAP’s position that there should be a public inquiry into the shootings.

DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh articulated the public concern a few days ago when he said he believed that the police had acted “overzealously”.

Karpal has said that since all five men were in an apartment, there was no need for the police to rush in and shoot them dead.

 “The action of the police may well constitute an offence. There are other ways of going about it,” Karpal said.

With increasing public fears of rising crime rate especially gun violence in the country; the Police must go all out to curb the crime and violence.

However, this does not mean that the Police must not ensure that their actions of killings do not need to be justified.  

In the case of the shootout in Penang, there has been doubt that it was an execution rather than a shootout.

While it is right for the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid to say that the Police has a duty to ensure Malaysia is safe, it is wrong for him to say that he does not care about what critics say.

He can ignore malicious and groundless allegations but he cannot say he does not care about criticisms which appear to be valid or at least have basis that warrant an open inquiry.

Having to do his duty does not mean that he can say he does not care about what critics have to say.
Although the Police have said that the standard operating procedures have been adhered to, the families of the dead men have also lodged police reports requesting for an inquest into their deaths.

In order to dispel public doubt and to find out the truth, I call on the government to carry out an open inquiry into the shootings.

I believe Tan Sri Khalid who has full confidence that the Police have done things the proper way will have no hesitation to support the setting up of an open inquiry.

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