Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 3rd May 2010:
The shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah - its murder!
The fatal shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah has been classified as murder and four policemen are being investigated for their role in the shooting. Section 300 of the Penal Code provides for any act to be murder if the person committing the act knows that what he is doing is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
The four policemen concerned should be suspended from duty until such time as the investigation is completed. Re-assigning them to desk duties is not proper.
If it is correct that the police fired almost 20 shots resulting in one finding its mark at the back of Aminulrasyid’s head, then clearly the act of the policemen concerned must be such as it is sufficient for them to be charged for murder under section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the mandatory death penalty.
As the incident has been classified as murder, there is no question of there being any inquest or any panel being set up to inquire into the circumstances leading to Aminulrasyid’s death. The panel headed by Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusof, to identify what actually transpired in the incident, should be immediately disbanded. Equally, it is wrong for the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, to publicly defend his men as this will prejudice the investigation. Musa Hassan should not prejudge. It is not his lot to do so.
It is ridiculous for Musa Hassan to have said last Thursday, ‘If people do not want the law to be enforced, then I shall instruct my men to refrain from stopping cars or from going after illegal races’. This tantrum was unnecessary and does not speak well of Musa Hassan’s professionalism. The police are duty-bound to enforce the law, but under the caveat that what they do is within the confines and parameters of their right to take life which can only arise at the extreme end when their own life is in danger at the hands of those they attempt to subdue and arrest.
I fully support the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in Sibu yesterday, that there should be no cover-up and that the investigation must be open and transparent as the public demanded this.
No doubt, the police personnel concerned should be entitled to a fair investigation. On the other hand, as police officers are involved in the shooting, there is a tendency for a conflict of interest to arise if those investigating are also their colleagues. To ensure there is fairness in the investigation, the least that can be done is for senior police officers from Sabah and Sarawak to constitute the investigation team.
There have been several instances in the immediate past where ‘police officers have been trigger-happy in shooting down suspects when it could have been avoided. In the case of the six individuals killed by the police in Kulim last year, after a long wait, the inquest is fixed on 20th May, 2010 at the Magistrates Court, Kulirn. Every effort should be made for action to be taken in the case of killings by the police as soon as possible. The trauma and agony suffered by the families of those killed should not be prolonged, particularly so, when any action against police officers acting in the discharge of their duties and the Government must be commenced within the limitation period of thirty six months from the date of the incident under section 2 of the Public Authorities Protection Act, 1948.
I regret the media has carried reports that Aminulrasyid was a criminal when that is a long way from the truth. There was nothing to indicate for the police to have given chase in such numbers and fired so many shots when they was no evidence of Aminulrasyid having committed any crime before he was chased while driving his car with his school mate as a passenger. This school mate is a star witness and the highest premium should be given to the statement he has given to the police.
In the meanwhile, I call upon the media not to criticise Aminulrasyid’s family. Apart from this not being in good taste, such criticism is unjustified. The family should be left alone to come to terms with the horrendous tragedy which has befallen them.
* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor