Gani Patail promises to take action in the case of the killing of Lam Yee Kwai, 40, who died after eight gun-shot wounds at an Ipoh Karaoke on Oct. 31 last year and the discharge not amounting to an acquittal of the suspected killer on June 2, 2003
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, has promised to take action in the case of the killing of Lam Yee Kwai, 40, who died after eight gun-shot wounds at an Ipoh Karaoke on Oct. 31 last year and the discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of the suspected killer on June 2, 2003.
I had received complaints from Lam’s family about the injustice of the case when I was in Ipoh on Friday for the DAP forum on the National Service Training Bill and I had asked the Attorney-General at the Court of Appeal this morning after the postponement of the Anwar Ibrahim bail application hearing the reasons for the suspect in the killing of Lam Yee Kwai with eight gun shots being DNAA despite ample witnesses.
Abdul Gani expressed surprise at the case as he said he did not know anything about it and promised to take immediate action on it, asking for its particulars which I undertook to furnish him.
On my return to the DAP headquarters, I faxed to him three documents in connection with the case of the multiple shooting and killing of Lam Yee Kwai, 40, in Ipoh on October 31 last year, viz::
8 gun shot wounds seen:
It has been reported in the media that the shooting and killing took place in front of a Karaoke Lounge in Ipoh on October 31 at about 8 p.m. and there were many witnesses to the fatal multiple shooting. Lam Yee Kwai left behind a 10-year-old handicapped daughter.
Lam’s family members complained that they and their lawyer were never informed that the suspect who had been remanded by the police since the fatal shootings last October would be produced in court on 2nd June 2003 to be set free and it was only from subsequent inquiries that their lawyer elicited the information that the suspect was DNAA on the directive of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
In my fax to the Attorney-General, I asked for the re-opening of the case as justice must not only be done but seen to be done, and that it is in the public interest that explanations and reasons be given as to why the suspected killer of Lam Yee Kwai with eight gun shots in Ipoh last October had been discharged not amounting to an acquittal despite ample witnesses and without the victim’s family, lawyer and the press being informed of the court proceeding beforehand.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers should emulate the Anti-Corruption Agency which pledged last week to be more accountable and transparent with a three-point policy to be responsive towards public demands for information about its investigations.
The Attorney-General owes the people the duties of accountability and transparency on the proper exercise of his discretionary powers vested in him by Article 145(3) of the Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence” to satisfy the public that he had not acted arbitrarily against the interest of justice – as had marred the career of his predecessor.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman