Thursday, September 12, 2019

Malaysians OK with 'internet' and social media blackouts? Repeal laws that allow for 'arbitrary' restrictions and censorships? - see Bar Resolution

A recent poll revealed that Malaysians support internet blackout...internet censorship...'ban on social media'...and, I want to believe that this is a wrong representation of what Malaysians really feel. When such a 'censorship' or blocking of the internet happens, it will be the government that decides - and effectively we surrender our access to information and freedom of expression/opinion to the government. 

An overwhelming 75 per cent of Malaysians say they would accept a ban on social media during times of strife, in an unusual show of support for authoritarian measures among global citizens. According to global pollsters Ipsos, the massive support for such a move placed Malaysians behind only India in desiring a blockade on all social media platforms in the event of a national crisis or terror attack.Of the Malaysians that said they support the ban, 27 per cent told Ipsos they “strongly agreed” with such measures.

Malaysians’ support for what is effectively an internet shutdown eclipsed those of respondents in countries viewed as authoritarian such as Saudi Arabia (3rd) and China (4th); China already restricts most global social media platforms using its so-called Great Firewall of China.
Remember, in this modern day, social media or the internet has become our primary means of communication with firends/family - no more is it phone-calls using fixed-line phone services or mobile phone services. Not written letters or even telegrams... 

During the Najib era, they tried to block access to websites and news portals that highlighted government wrongdoings including the 1MDB scandals ...so to block us off from 'social media' is extremely dangerous... Communication between people(including politicians from government) can generate anger and even hate...but at the same time it can also bring calm and reasonableness..Who really have used ethnic and religious issues and sentiments to attempt to manipulate our feelings,...our values and principles...ordinary people or really political personalities ...

Freedom of opinion, expression and the access to information is something that needs to be protected...Now, our own  Communications And Multimedia Act 1998 has some draconian powers...which government has used in the past...without even going to court to get a court order(after ensuring the affected party the right to be heard)..

Malaysian Bar and lawyers see this as serious, and a Resolution has been passed - see the full Resolution below that explains why some draconian provisions in this Act ought to be repealed...
 
Resolution on Internet Censorship, The Malaysian Insider, and Freedom of Expression and Opinion

WHEREAS:

(1) Access to the website of alternative online media, The Malaysian Insider, has been denied to Malaysians by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (“MCMC”).

(2) A visit to the said website will disclose, amongst others, the following statement: “Access to this site has been denied under Section 263(2) Communications And Multimedia Act 1998 as it violates the following Malaysian law: … Breached provision section 233 Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.”

(3) In the case of the Malaysian Chronicle website, another alternative media outlet, all that one sees is (emphasis added): “This website is not available in Malaysia as it violate(s) the National law(s).”  There is even no mention of what laws have been breached and under what provision is the site blocked.

(4) A statement in Bahasa Malaysia dated 25 February 2016, which did not even indicate the name of the person who issued the statement, in the MCMC website, confirms that it is the MCMC that blocked The Malaysian Insider website.

MCMC SEKAT LAMAN THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

CYBERJAYA, 25 Februari 2016 --- Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) telah menyekat laman The Malaysian Insider ekoran tindakan portal berkenaan yang telah mengeluarkan kandungan-kandungan yang menjurus kepada kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 233, Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998.

Sekatan tersebut juga dilakukan oleh MCMC berdasarkan aduan-aduan dan maklumat yang diterima daripada orang ramai.

Sehubungan itu, MCMC memperingatkan portal-portal berita agar tidak menyebarkan atau menyiarkan artikel-artikel yang tidak ditentukan kesahihannya. Ini kerana, tindakan sedemikian boleh mengundang kekeliruan dan mencetuskan situasi yang tidak diingini.

SEKIAN

(5) The reason seems that The Malaysian Insider had published contents that amount to a violation of section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.  There are, however, no details whatsoever, as to what the alleged violation was — no mention of date and time, no mention of which particular report, and no mention of the particulars of the statements that allegedly were in breach of section 233.  Section 233(1) and (2), which contains the offence is as follows (emphases added):

Section 233  Improper use of network facilities or network service, etc

(1) A person who –

(a) by means of any network facilities or network service or applications service knowingly

(i) makes, creates or solicits; and
(ii) initiates the transmission of,

any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person; or

(b) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address,

commits an offence.

(2) A person who knowingly –

(a) by means of a network service or applications service provides any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person; or

(b)  permits a network service or applications service under the person’s control to be used for an activity described in paragraph (a),

commits an offence.

(6) A perusal of section 233(1) will see that it is just too broad and vague, and is open to abuse.  For example, the highlighting of violation of human rights or laws, or facts connected to alleged violations of rights/laws, would likely “annoy” or even “harass” the wrongdoer, and for the alleged wrongdoer, it could also be said to be “menacing and offensive”.  This should never be considered an offence.

(7) As such, this section deters even the highlighting of human rights abuses, breaches of law and even possible government wrongdoing.  This section even deters the sharing of such relevant and important facts, and/or opinions over the internet.

(8) Section 233(1), together with section 263(2), violates even the very assurance provided for in section 3(3), which states (emphasis added), “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting the censorship of the Internet.”  The blocking of access to websites like The Malaysian Insider, could hardly be said to be not “censoring the internet”.

(9) Section 263(2) states (emphases added): “(2) A licensee shall, upon written request by the Commission or any other authority, assist the Commission or other authority as far as reasonably necessary in preventing the commission or attempted commission of an offence under any written law of Malaysia or otherwise in enforcing the laws of Malaysia, including, but not limited to, the protection of the public revenue and preservation of national security.” 

(10) The wordings of section 263(2) suggest the ability to block website/s or website access (and/or “censor”) for the purpose of preventing a possible offence or an attempt to commit an offence — as such, it is akin to a “preventive detention” law like our former Internal Security Act 1960 (“ISA”).  This means websites, blogs and other social media can be prematurely blocked even before any crime has been committed.  Was The Malaysian Insider website access blocked because there was some “suspicion” that The Malaysian Insider may breach some law in the future?

(11) We remind ourselves of the legal principle that is the “presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  No one can be said to have breached any law until the court, after a trial, determines whether one is guilty or not.  No administrative authority and/or executive body can arbitrarily determine whether one has breached the law or not — all they can do is allege for it is the courts that determine whether a law is breached or not.

(12) The other use of section 263(2) is for the enforcing of the laws in Malaysia — and, the question is which law is it enforcing, and does the said law allow the blocking of access to the internet or any particular website, remembering the guarantee that there will be no “censoring of the internet”.

(13) What makes it even more dangerous is that, unlike the draconian ISA and Detention Without Trial laws, which require a Minister’s order, here all that is required is not even an order but merely a “written request by the Commission or any other authority” — this is unacceptable.

(14) An ISA detention order by a Minister could be subject to judicial review, but here under section 263(2), we only have a “written request”, that too directed to the licensee, which seems to be the internet service providers, and not even the affected website like The Malaysian Insider, making it even more difficult to appeal.  Hence, the victim may be deeply prejudiced — not having the ability to appeal to higher authorities, let alone proceed with a judicial review.

(15) In Malaysia, when a person is deprived of his rights or freedoms, like in an arrest, the enforcement authority can only hold him/her for 24 hours, and for further detention a court remand order is required. 

(16) However, in this case of “blocking access to internet websites”, which we now know can last indefinitely, there is no requirement for any court order, and as such this is grossly unjust. 

(17) In the case of The Malaysian Insider, there were also no material particulars as to which was the “offending” article, and what was wrong with it. 

(18) Even if there was some offending report, a reasonable action would have been blocking access to the particular report/article — not the blocking of the entire media website.

(19) In Parliament, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Jailani Johari “ … said the government had on January 19 formed a special committee to monitor the use of the internet and social media platforms, with the panel chaired by minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and comprising representatives from his ministry, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the police and the Attorney-General Chambers … to ensure stern action on those using social media to plant hate against government institutions and prevent social media from becoming the cause of the incitement of discord through the propagation of lies, hatred and religious extremism …” (Malay Mail, 8 March 2016).

(20) In the said report, it also disclosed that since 19 January until February, “the MCMC has probed 22 cases of internet misuse and blocked a total of 399 websites.”  The law does not give the MCMC the specific power to block access to websites. 

(21) No material particulars were given as to which websites have been blocked and for what specific reason they were blocked.  One could not find even on the MCMC website a listing of the websites blocked, and the reasons for the blocking of access.  Hence, not only are the owner/s of the said websites deeply prejudiced, but also we who do not want internet censorship.

(22) Even if it was a pornographic or gambling website, there must be a requirement for a court order for the blocking of access.  It should be noted that now many local and foreign media websites, websites/blogs of individuals and civil society organisations are also being blocked arbitrarily.  In all cases, the owners of the websites must be given due notice and the opportunity to be heard.

(23) The Malaysian Bar, in its 1 March 2016 press statement, amongst others, said: “ … The right to information, or the right to know, is implicit in the guarantee of freedom of speech and expression that belongs to every citizen, as enshrined in Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.  Indeed, a true democracy envisages a meaningful right to know … The blocking of access to websites is a serious curtailment of the right to know, as it thwarts the flow or dissemination of information, thoughts and ideas.  This renders the constitutional guarantee in Article 10(1)(a) vacuous or meaningless … Further, a critical and complementary aspect of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression is contained in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’”
 
THEREFORE, it is hereby resolved that:

(A) That we, the Members of the Malaysian Bar, and the Malaysian Bar, call on the Malaysian Government to stop censorship of the internet.

(B) That we, the Members of the Malaysian Bar, and the Malaysian Bar, call for immediate unblocking and restoring internet access to The Malaysian Insider, Malaysian Chronicle and all such media sites and blogs that publish information, opinions and views. 

(C) That we, the Malaysian Bar calls for the repeal of section 263, section 233 and such vague provisions in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

(D) That the Malaysian Bar calls for the repeal of all such laws that allow for the deprivation of human rights and freedoms by executive and/or administrative authorities, without the necessary requirement of a court order.

(E) That the Malaysian Bar review Malaysian laws, and highlight laws and/or provisions therein that is contrary to international human rights standards. 

(F) That the Malaysian Bar uphold the rule of law, including the right to be heard and a fair trial. - Malaysian Bar Website - A Bar Resolution adopted in 2016

‘Special Committee’ Another Excuse For Delay in Abolition of Mandatory Penalty?(MADPET

* Statement was carried by Malaysiakini and also ALIRAN


Media Statement -11/9/2019


‘Special Committee’  Another Excuse For Delay in Abolition of Mandatory Penalty?


Delay Prejudices Many Accused Persons Whose Trial Commenced Before Abolition becomes Law


MADPET (Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture) is tickled by the announcement now of the Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong that a special committee to look for alternatives to the mandatory death sentence will be set up (Malay Mail, 6/9/2019). Such a committee could have been established earlier in March, but to do so now, a few weeks before the commencement of the October Parliamentary Session, when the Bill/s to abolish mandatory death penalty was to be tabled is really disconcerting.


MADPET is also concerned whether it is just another attempt to further delay the decision to abolish the mandatory death penalty. Last October, the Cabinet decided to abolish death penalty, then in March this year, they changed their mind.


U-Turns - From Abolishing Death Penalty in 33 Offences to Abolishing Mandatory Death Penalty in 11 Offences


It was announced on October 10 2018 (being also the World Day Against the Death Penalty), that the Malaysian Cabinet had reached a consensus (a collective decision) that the death penalty for 33 offences as provided for under eight Acts of law would be abolished, and this was again reiterated several times(Straits Times, 13/11/2018).


Then on 13/3/2019, the Malaysian government made a "shocking" U-turn and said that only the mandatory death penalty would be axed. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the mandatory death penalty was for nine offences under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.( New Straits Times, 13/3/2019)


MANDATORY PENALTIES OUSTS JUDICIAL POWERS IN SENTENCING


A mandatory death penalty deprives judge’s sentencing discretion – the ability to order an appropriate just sentence, when a person is found guilty and convicted of the crime.


When there is a mandatory sentence, judges will have no choice but impose that one mandatory sentence provided by law. If there were no mandatory sentence, then when it comes to sentencing will consider all aggravating factors, mitigating factors and all the circumstances of the case, and give a just sentence to those found guilty.


Parliament should justly impose no mandatory sentence, though they may stipulate maximum or even minimum sentences that would be imposed on a person is found guilty of a particular crime. The sentenced to be imposed on every person found should always be in the hands of judges.


4 persons convicted of murder. Should not a higher sentenced be given for the person who killed, and maybe a lower sentence for a young man who came along but did not actually kill anyone? Should not a higher sentence be given for a repeat offender and a lesser sentence be given for a first time offender?



REPLACEMENT FOR MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY


When the mandatory death penalty is abolished, it is best that it is not replaced simply with just another mandatory sentence be it imprisonment for life or imprisonment for natural life (being in prison until one dies), This also would be wrong and unjust.


When the mandatory death penalty is abolished, the law would still provide that the sentence for the crime could be death, imprisonment for natural life, life imprisonment and/or imprisonment for a term not less than 10-15 years. Then, it will be up to the judge to impose a just and appropriate sentence, based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Remember, that if one is unhappy with the sentence, one can always appeal the sentence to the Court or Appeal, and even the Federal Court.


As such, there is really no reasonable or justifiable reason to set up any ‘special committee to look for alternatives to the mandatory death sentence’. We know the options, and the government, the Members of Parliament and Senators can decide.


MADPET hopes that this Malaysian government, who previously decided to abolish the death penalty, who then did a U-turn to now only abolish the mandatory death penalty will no more procrastinate BUT will speedily table the relevant Bills in Parliament in this upcoming October Parliamentary session.


DELAY IN ABOLITION OF MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY PREJUDICES ACCUSED WHOSE TRIAL HAVE STARTED.


It must be remembered that the delay of the previous Barisan National government in putting in force the Dangerous Drugs Amendment Act 2017, which abolished the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking, by several months resulted in great injustice to at least 10 persons who were sentenced to death as judges still could not use the new law until it was in force.


Now, the Pakatan Harapan-led government’s delay in the abolition of the mandatory death penalty also greatly prejudices accused persons charged with mandatory death penalty offences, whose trial are starting, proceeding and/or will end before the amendment becomes law. Now, the prosecution and the defense are preparing and presenting their evidence and submissions in these trials on the basis that conviction results in the mandatory death penalty. If there is no mandatory death penalty, evidence tendered will also be evidence that would assist the Judge later in imposing a sentence other than the death sentence.


If mandatory death penalty is now abolished, justice would only be done for those sentenced to the mandatory death penalty may be by a re-trial, where all court records of the trial before are expunged and cannot be relied upon. Alternatively, a less just option, for trials yet to have ended, provisions be given for prosecution and defense to adduce new relevant evidence, including the recalling of witnesses, which will have a bearing on the sentence to be imposed if found guilty.


As such, the abolition of the mandatory death penalty should be not be delayed.


Other amendments to deal with cases where trials have already commenced or have ended by the time the abolition of mandatory death penalty had come into force can always be dealt with later, maybe in subsequent amendments tabled in Parliamentary sessions in 2020.


DEATH ROW PRISONERS – PARDON CAN COMMUTE DEATH SENTENCES


For those currently on death row, who are now more than 1,200 persons, the only way now is through the commutation of the death sentence to imprisonment, which can be done by Pardon by the King and the State Rulers.


In 1983, Datuk Mokhtar Hashim, then Culture, Youth and Sports Minister received the death penalty for the murder of Datuk Taha Talib, the state assemblyman for Tampin, In 1984 he received a ‘royal pardon’ when his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and thereafter in 1991 another ‘royal pardon’ set him free from prison.


The power of pardon is exercisable by the King and/or the Ruler or Yang di- Pertua Negeri of a State (Article 42 Federal Constitution), and this how those on death row could be dealt with. The problem now is not just the frequency of Pardon Board meetings, but the lack of procedural and guidelines that these Pardon Boards need follow.


MADPET is of the opinion that all those currently on death law be pardoned and their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.


Besides royal pardon, the commutation of death sentence could also possibly be achieved through an enactment of a new law.


Alternatively, the right of death row inmates to apply to court for a review of their guilt and sentence could be clearly provided for in our laws. This should also include the ability to easily adduce new evidence, which may not have been adduced for whatever reason by their lawyers and/or prosecution. Why should the convicted be prejudiced for failings of even his/her own lawyer, as today the law makes it very difficult for the adducing of new evidence that already existed then but was not adduced and brought to attention of the court during trial? There are also many cases where prosecution and/or police, despite having relevant evidence, simply chose not bring it to the attention of the courts.




LAWS AND AMENDMENTS


The government can immediately amend the law to abolish the mandatory death penalty. Now, it could impose a natural life prison sentence.


Later, it can always again amend the law to even give greater discretion to judges maybe imprisonment not less than 15 years to natural life sentences, which it could do after this ‘special committee’ submits its conclusions maybe 3 – 6 months down the road.


The abolition of the mandatory death penalty must not be delayed simply because we are waiting for this ‘special committee’ to submit its final report.


The law could also later be amended to deal with persons whose trial has commenced and completed before the law abolishing mandatory death penalty comes into force.


It is sad that the government has been using all kinds of excuses to delay bringing about necessary repeal or amendment of draconian laws in Malaysian. For example, in June 19, it was reported The government will wait for the Federal Court to decide on a suit challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty for trafficking before it tables an amendments ( Malay Mail, 17/6/2019). Parliament makes laws and there is no need to wait to be told by Court whether a law is constitutional or bad.


The worry now is that in the near future, the Minister will come out and say that the mandatory death penalty will not be abolished until it receives the final report from this ‘special committee’ it set up weeks before the Bill to abolish death penalty is to be tabled.



THERFORE, MADPET 


-          Calls on the Malaysian government to no longer delay the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, which ought to be done in the upcoming Parliamentary session beginning October 
2019;


-          Call on the new Malaysian government, who have been power for more than 16 months, to no longer procrastinate in the abolition of other draconian laws like the Sedition Act, the Detention Without Trial laws and other draconian laws; and 


-          Reiterates the call for the abolition of the death penalty, and the commutation of all death sentences of persons on death row.

Charles Hector
For and on behalf of MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

Death penalty - ‘special committee’ another excuse for abolition delay?

Charles Hector  |  Published:
   
LETTER | Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) is tickled by the announcement of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Liew Vui Keong that a special committee to look for alternatives to the mandatory death sentence will be set up. 

Such a committee could have been established earlier in March, but to do so now a few weeks before the commencement of the October parliamentary session when the bill to abolish the mandatory death penalty is to be tabled is really disconcerting.

Madpet is also concerned whether it is just another attempt to further delay the decision to abolish the mandatory death penalty. Last October, the cabinet decided to abolish the death penalty, then in March this year, they changed their mind.

It was announced on Oct 10, 2018 (being also the World Day Against the Death Penalty), that the cabinet had reached a consensus that the death penalty for 33 offences as provided for under eight acts of law would be abolished and this was again reiterated several times.

Then on March 13 this year, the Malaysian government made a shocking U-turn and said that only the mandatory death penalty would be axed. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the mandatory death penalty was for nine offences under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.

A mandatory death penalty deprives a judge’s sentencing discretion – the ability to order an appropriate just sentence when a person is found guilty and convicted of the crime.

Madpet hopes that the government, who previously decided to abolish the death penalty, who then did a U-turn to now only abolish the mandatory death penalty will no more procrastinate but will speedily table the relevant bills in Parliament in this upcoming parliamentary session.

It must be remembered that the delay of several months by the previous BN government in putting in force the Dangerous Drugs Amendment Act 2017 which abolished the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking resulted in great injustice to at least 10 persons who were sentenced to death as judges still could not use the new law until it was in force.

Now, the Pakatan Harapan-led government’s delay in the abolition of the mandatory death penalty also greatly prejudices accused persons charged with mandatory death penalty offences, whose trials are starting, proceeding and/or will end before the amendment becomes law. 

Now, the prosecution and the defence are preparing and presenting their evidence and submissions in these trials on the basis that conviction results in the mandatory death penalty. If there is no mandatory death penalty, evidence tendered will also be evidence that would assist the judge later in imposing a sentence other than the death sentence.

If the mandatory death penalty is now abolished, justice would only be done for those sentenced to the mandatory death penalty maybe by a re-trial where all court records of the trial before are expunged and cannot be relied upon. Alternatively, a less just option, for trials yet to have ended, provisions be given for prosecution and defense to adduce new relevant evidence, including the recalling of witnesses, which will have a bearing on the sentence to be imposed if found guilty.

As such, the abolition of the mandatory death penalty should be not be delayed.

Other amendments to deal with cases where trials have already commenced or have ended by the time the abolition of the mandatory death penalty had come into force can always be dealt with later, maybe in subsequent amendments tabled in Parliamentary sessions in 2020.

The government can immediately amend the law to abolish the mandatory death penalty and can impose a natural life prison sentence.

Later, it can always again amend the law to even give greater discretion to judges, maybe imprisonment not less than 15 years to natural life sentences, which it could do after this "special committee" submits its conclusions maybe three to six months down the road.

The abolition of the mandatory death penalty must not be delayed simply because we are waiting for this "special committee" to submit its final report.

The law could also later be amended to deal with persons whose trial have commenced and completed before the law abolishing mandatory death penalty comes into force.

It is sad that the government has been using all kinds of excuses to delay bringing about necessary repeal or amendment of draconian laws in Malaysia. For example, on June 19, it was reported that the government will wait for the Federal Court to decide on a suit challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty for trafficking before it tables an amendment. Parliament makes laws and there is no need for it to wait to be told by a court whether a law is constitutional or bad.

The worry now is that in the near future, the minister will come out and say that the mandatory death penalty will not be abolished until it receives the final report from this "special committee" it set up just weeks before the bill to abolish the death penalty is to be tabled.

Therefore, Madpet
  • Calls on the Malaysian government to no longer delay the abolition of the mandatory death penalty which ought to be done in the upcoming Parliamentary session beginning October 2019;
  • Call on the new government, which has been power for more than 16 months, to no longer procrastinate on the abolition of other draconian laws like the Sedition Act, detention without trial laws and other draconian laws; and
  • Reiterates the call for the abolition of the death penalty and the commutation of all death sentences of persons on death row.- Malaysiakini, 12/9/2019

Minister: Special committee to study alternative to mandatory death sentence



Liew said in a statement today that the decision on the special committee was made by the Cabinet on August 29. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Liew said in a statement today that the decision on the special committee was made by the Cabinet on August 29. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 6 — The government has agreed to set up a special committee to look for alternatives to the mandatory death sentence.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong said in a statement today that the decision on the special committee was made by the Cabinet on August 29.

He said the special committee will be chaired by a former Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Its members will comprise former Federal Court judges, former Attorney General Chambers officers, former senior officers of the Prisons Department as well as representatives of the Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), academics, criminologists, and civil society organisations.

“The government is taking a pro-active and cautious step by setting up this special committee to ensure that an alternative sentence which is commensurate with the criminal offence is imposed, taking into account the implications on and welfare of the victim,” Liew said.

He said the repeal of the mandatory death sentence will give the judge discretion to impose a death sentence or an alternative sentence, based on the facts of the case.

Liew said the proposal to repeal the mandatory death sentence was in line with the 27 pledges in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto. — Bernama - Malay Mail, 6/9/2019

Abolishing of death penalty is collective decision by Cabinet, says Liew

Nation
Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018 9:58 AM MYT

By RASHVINJEET S. BEDI

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/14/liew-death-penalty-abolition-was-a-collection-cabinet-decision#S3aaU5bGx0x8bTZo.99

Malaysia's Cabinet decides to end death penalty for 33 offences



KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Malaysia's Cabinet has reached a consensus that the death penalty for 33 offences as provided for under eight Acts of law should be abolished,  including Section 302 of the Penal Code, which pertains to murder, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong said on Tuesday (Nov 13).

He said the decision, which was reached collectively, also encompassed the Firearms (Heavier Penalties) Act, 1971; Firearms Act, 1960; Kidnapping Act, 1961; and Armed Forces Act, 1972.

Death penalties also provided for under the Water Services Industries Act, 2006; Strategic Trade Act, 2010; and Dangerous Drugs Act, 1952, are also to be abolished.

"Following the Cabinet decision,  a Cabinet memorandum has been circulated to the relevant ministries for their comments and to get public feedback on it," Datuk Liew said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.

He was replying to a question from  Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen, the Pakatan Harapan MP from Bandar Kuching, who wanted to know the government's position on abolishing the death penalty, in particular with respect to whether there will be exceptions for extremely cruel crimes,

Mr Liew also told the House that the Bill on the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was expected to be tabled at the next sitting of Parliament after all issues and policies were finalised.

He said follow-up meetings on the setting up of the commission had agreed that it should be truly independent, effective and have the power to tackle problems involving  the police force.

"The framework takes into consideration powers that are more holistic and in line with existing laws and are currently in force," he said in reply to a question from Ms Maria Chin Abdullah, the Pakatan Harapan MP representing Petaling Jaya.

Mr Liew said the police's rights would also be assured as enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

In September 2018, the government announced the setting up of the IPCMC to replace the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission. - Straits Times, 13/11/2018

Mandatory death penalty to be repealed for 11 criminal offences



(Stock image for illustration purposes) “We have made a decision. The government will only repeal the mandatory death penalty. We will make the amendments. This is in keeping with the 27th pledge in the Pakatan Harapan (election) manifesto.”
KUALA LUMPUR: The mandatory death penalty for 11 criminal offences are to be repealed and substituted with death penalty imposed at the discretion of the court, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said the mandatory death penalty was for nine offences under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.

“We have made a decision. The government will only repeal the mandatory death penalty. We will make the amendments. This is in keeping with the 27th pledge in the Pakatan Harapan (election) manifesto,” he said when replying to a question from Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (Pas-Tumpat) during Question Time.

Replying to a supplementary question from Che Abdullah on whether the government intends to set up a parliamentary select committee to discuss the repeal of the death penalty before tabling the amendment bill, Hanipa said he would forward the suggestion to the government.

The cabinet, at a meeting in October 2018, decided to repeal the mandatory death penalty for 33 offences under eight acts. – Bernama - New Straits Times, 13/3/2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ACSC/APF 2019 - Thai/ASEAN government 'betrayal' using money, conditions/restrictions to subvert Human Rights struggle? Blame CSOs or government?

Well, in Thailand, there are problems with the ASEAN Peoples Forum/ASEAN Civil Society Conference [APF/ACSC]- there are 2 now? And a perusal of the internet reveals no media coverage of the 'atrocity' that happened...WHY?

The forum that is taking place at the Berkeley Hotel Pratunam is not a forum of ASEAN people. It is a forum organized by the Thai government with only Thai participants. There are no participants from other ASEAN countries.

We are disappointed. We are floundering because the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security abruptly refuses to support us a week before the official forum. This occurs when we refuse the Ministry’s attempt to select participants and control the People’s Forum. Regardless of the struggle, we are determined to uphold the principles of ASEAN to respect the people and inclusiveness. 

We thank the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security for previously set a budget to support the ACSC/APF. We are disheartened that we cannot continue to have the Ministry’s support. On the other hand, the Ministry perversely squanders the government budget to organize a people’s forum.

One organised by the government and one organised by the CSOs and Human Rights Defenders...Earlier, there was one ...but then there were 'conditions' imposed by the government ...that led to 2. 

What happened? See the statement issued by the organizers of the current ACSC/APF - which I think is rather 'soft' considering what happened at the very last minute forcing them to find new venues and even 'new donations' to cover the cost...Sadly, the statement is not at all strong ....what the government did is WRONG - but what do you expect, 'will any government help organize a forum of HR Defenders, which will certainly HIGHLIGHT human rights violations of the government, OR HR violations which that government has failed or refused to address?

The persons and groups that were  organising the ACSC/APF for many years now have been becoming more and more 'government-friendly' which led to the acceptance of funds and also 'co-organising' with government. 

They have also been becoming less critical of human rights violations committed by government(or others). 

These civil society groups also started to stop 'highlighting' specifics of human rights violations - moving away from the 'name and shame' approach ...all, of which to have 'closer ties' with the governments...an approach that they hoped will lead to greater government acceptance and hence increased chances to get more justice and human rights - WELL, it did not work...for governments that violate human rights (or support alleged perpetrators) will certainly slowly eliminate true HR Defenders or make them weaker...and today, many CSOs and HR Defender groups have become 'toothless'...Has the mainstream media even carried what happened in Thailand? 

Many groups and HR Defenders unhappiness with the organizers of this ASCC/APF were doing has been growing and many have moved away...or simply 'boycotted' such programs.

WILL THE CSO ORGANISERS OF THE ACSC/APF LEARN FROM WHAT HAS HAPPENED? Or will they simply continue 'cooperating with government' or accepting government funds...I wonder. The Open Letter issued highlights our concerns ...for despite what happened, it is lame ...and in fact, there is still so much 'thanking' of government...when really it should have been so much more stronger about this most serious human rights violations by the government at the very last minute...

In the last few years, the ACSC/APF organisers have been bending over backwards to 'please' the government...was it the money? Was it the government recognition? Was it also a betrayal of justice and human rights - when HR Defenders weaken their calls for justice and human rights...?

Choosing or vetting of participants - well, that is the issue that angers the current ACSC/APF organisers - but maybe, the question that they must ask themselves is whether they too have been guilty of 'choosing' participants - do they invite the stronger more vocal groups and provide funding to come? Or have they been inclined to invite participants that will not challenge what they have been doing ...or HIGHLIGHTING the failings of the organising members?

In every countries, the reps are supposed to chose the participants from their respective countries...but are all CSOs, HR Defenders, Community Groups, Trade Unions, ...even privy of this information and/or are selected. The ACSC/APF charges USD10 for participants - but alas, most HR groups have no money...and they use their own monies and energy in their struggle...USD10 is also just too much for them...Access to such programs is a concern - so who really attends? Are they truly representatives of the people and communities, CSOs that struggle for HRs and Justice?

At the last few ASCS/APF, even the statements of these meetings were not openly discussed, and approved by the participants that attended. There is not even space in the program for this process which in the early days usually was a lot - usually about half a day to a day >> Time is needed to lobby, discuss, debate and finally come to a common statement - but this is democratic participation. In the recent past, some 'participant's' statement were even sent to the ASEAN and member States even before the participants saw and agreed to the statement? 

WHAT WERE THESE GATHERINGS OF CSO's, NGOs, Trade Unions, and other HR Defender groups? The original objects were slowly lost ... read on below...

The coming together of Civil Society Groups, HR Defenders, NGOs, Trade Unions, etc ...in Asia started many many years ago with the PP 21(1992) in Bangkok, since then there were Asian Gatherings ...so, even a limiting to ASEAN states is a weakening of the peoples' and HR Defenders movement ..Should we go back to trying to organize Asian level programs (without government funding or control?)

Before, it brought together many different persons and groups involved in different issues of justice and human rights from many different countries >  Developing SOLIDARITY and a stronger movement towards justice and human rights was the priority. We took the opportunity of this gathering to expose people to other areas of HR and Justice, so that they know the issues and their support could also be obtained. So, not only were people exposed to main issues in different countries...but also the main issues of specific concerns b it women's issues, indigenous people's issues, workers and trade union rights, repressive laws... As such, there were a lot of plenary sessions that dealt with this...and the final support of all these different groups with different concerns materialized in the FINAL STATEMENT of all participants..

YES, at the end of the day a women's rights activist would have an understanding of environmental rights issues or landless farmer's issues. A democracy activist will know about workers' rights and child rights..

YES - these meetings PRIMARY objective was to generate awareness about all different human rights and justice struggles...and to lobby support from all...> so, at the end of the day, the numbers of people calling for justice and human rights in all the different areas of concern is stronger...and as such more effective..hence the importance of the right program...and of course the process of generating the final statement that reflects the new stance of all participants after our meeting/gathering ...


The second object was the CALLING together as one ALL governments and ASEAN ...and others to LISTEN and ACT to respect, defend and promote human rights and justice....

It is not simply an exercise to show we can gather thousands at a meeting - but more importantly that we not only participated, but more importantly NOW are ONE in the struggle for human rights..

Over the years, more and more side events/programs were organized. The problem with 'side events', say one on migrant rights - we will see that most who go who already be advocates for migrant rights ...those involved in other rights issues like land or housing rights, democratic rights, indigenous people's rights, etc just do not go... A few such events are OK - but more should be happening at PLENARY sessions where all participants are present ...and these PLENARY sessions must ,be introducing people to what the other groups are doing and fighting for in the other areas of rights...WE ARE AFTER ALL LOBBYING FOR SUPPORT FROM ALL IN OUR STUGGLE FOR RIGHTS IN THE DIFFERENT AREAS... 

Will the ACSC/APF organizers change? Or will they simply organise similar events the same way?  

HOW GOVERNMENTS WEAKEN CSOs and HRDs?

- Money is one way...and, of course it will come with conditions...and, real strong groups may never get financial assistance..
- RECOGNITION - well, nowadays it is fashionable for governments to have consultation meetings with CSOs - but if you are a strong advocate ...you may find yourself not being invited for future meetings..
- APPOINTMENTS - well, now some governments just appoints some HR Defenders to even become Senators or Local Councillors, into Commissions or into government jobs ..with good salary...and sadly, many receive such offers ....so, end of the day, the people and communities and Human Rights lose many 'champions' of Human Rights and Justice - for now they 'transform' into defenders of government...
- Of course, the old ways like arrest, prosecution, 'extra-judicial killing', enforced disappearance, harassment, threats all...still happen in the region...

The other problem today is identifying whether a person is truly committed to justice or human rights ...and is a true HR Defender . Before many of such persons did this without any pay(or financial remunerations)...but today many of them are paid employees of CSOs and HR Groups...and sadly when some of these 'HR Defenders' leave their jobs for some other commercial or government jobs, they are no more interested in HR and justice - we do not even see them anymore...this is a BIG impact for the people and victims of HR Violations and/or Injustices - who do they trust...?

The struggle for the respect, defence and promotion of Human Rights is many...and we hope that current CSOs, HR Defender organisations and the people in this group do not do things that compromise the struggle...

Should ACSC/APF even continue? Initially there was hope that ASEAN and ASEAN member States may do something to respect, defend and promote Human Rights ...but after all these years, all they have come out is with Declarations and Documents on HR which they, the member States, also continue to violate...and there is no complaint mechanisms . no periodic review of compliance...or even a process that allows for recommendations... so, is the ASEAN civil society wasting its time with ASEAN?

However, if the primary objective is building SOLIDARITY, which is based on increasing awareness of all other issues and concerns of human rights so that we will have a LARGER STRONGER MORE EFFECTIVE struggle for HRs and Justice in Asia or ASEAN or South East Asia ...then maybe we still need it? 

How will the current ACSC/APF happening at a new venue at one of the Universities do? Will they have a STRONG participants statement that specifically highlights the rights violations now happening in Thailand, Myanmar and other ASEAN member States, and demanding a strong response? Will they DEMAND human rights and justice...or will they 'diplomatically' beg or softly suggest..without even highlighting specific violations hoping that they will still get monies from government for future ACSC/APF? We shall see...we await their subsequent statements...




Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Extrajudicial killing by Malaysian Police? Police arrest not KILL - Investigate all police shooting incidents?


Did the Malaysian police set out 'to shoot and kill' these persons? Did the Malaysian police try to arrest these 'SUSPECTS' - or they were just interested in shooting ...which resulted will all 3 dead? So, now none of the 3 victims can speak to defend themselves and contradict the 'story' of the police...

Well, after most police shooting incidence, when we read media reports because we are 'assured' that these were indeed BAD people not good innocent people... so, the killing and/or death is JUSTIFIED? 

And the media helps paint this picture... 'members of the notorious ‘Geng Tebuk’ that were involved in a spate of robberies as well as house and factory break-in cases'...'three men were suspected of committing 15 break-ins into factories in Bukit Mertajam, with losses close to RM620,000. He said the men were experts in prising open safes...'

If there were suspected criminals, was there 'arrest warrants' issued for their arrests? Did the police previously arrest and investigate these suspects? Are there 'pictures' of these suspects on police websites asking the public to assist in their identification and arrest? 

I believe it is is WRONG for the police to even paint such an impression of 'suspects' shot and killed by police? Remember, the duty of police is to merely arrest and investigate...and it is for the courts and Judges to determine whether a person is guilty of a crime or not...

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING - this includes when the police shoot and kill persons before the Court determines him/her as GUILTY after a fair trial.

Police can use force in arresting people...and it must be reasonable force...they can shoot if the the persons they are trying to arrest are shooting at them...but the shooting is to arrest them...not kill them. Yes, there have been cases where the suspects are shot and arrested...but in some cases the suspects were not even shooting them...or even cases where they did not have guns? 

So, in the recent shootings...the evidence disclosed was the presence of 1 gun with the 3 suspects...and evidence that 2 shots were fired...'...police retrieved two spent bullet shells used to shoot at them. He said six rounds of .38 Colt ammunition was found on them...'....' police found, among others, a .38 revolver with four live rounds of ammunition and two bullet casings, two parangs, a metal cutter, a knuckle duster and grinders...'
So, maybe shooting back at the person with the gun shooting may be 'reasonable'...but is the shooting that resulted in the killing reasonable?  

Did the police identify themselves as police? Were they wearing police uniforms and identifiable police cars? OR not...did the 3 just act in self defence because they wrongly thought that they were being pursued or in a fight with some 'rival' group of criminals?
How many police - well, it seemed to not a routine police patrol...being a police car with 2 officers or motorbike cops? There were 12 policeman... “Our team of 12 policemen was already in the area as we had received a tip-off that the bandits were about to act,”...

Tip-off from whom? What was the tip-off - that people were going to rob a factory? Was there a tip-off about the vehicle number plate? Did the police put up road-blocks? 

Was the whole encounter recorded on CCTV - if it was, then we could look at it and see what exactly happened - and determine whether it was reasonable or justified - that shooting and killing of the 3 by police officers? [Maybe time for Malaysian police to all carry CCTV recorders on their person and on their vehicles...that would also discourage corruption...but will also ensure that police act in accordance to the laws in Malaysia.]. In this incident, police action involving 12 police officers - there should be a CCTV recording for proof that all was done in accordance to law...?

After the killing - the police links them to past crimes...impressive how fast this was done? But, if they 'suspected' them of past crimes, should they not been brought in before for investigations at the very least...if not to be charged and tried in court? 

I worry about this linking of the dead to past crimes - does this means the police may close investigations in these cases? Maybe the dead were not involved at all and the real perpetrators are out there still enjoying the fruits of their crime...What about the RM620,000 or the monies stolen - Will the victims not get back what they lost? [Or maybe, they do not care because some insurance may have already compensated their alleged losses?} - 'He said the three men were suspected of committing 15 break-ins into factories in Bukit Mertajam, with losses close to RM620,000. He said the men were experts in prising open safes.

Well, good that the State police chief T Narenasagaran only said 'SUSPECTED' -meaning that the 3 dead may not even be guilty of the alleged crimes...so police is still investigating until they find the true criminals...

An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. 

Inquest and Inquiries Into Death - Now there are inquests for those who die in police custody - now we need for inquests into deaths by reason of police shootings. 

We know that police shot them death - but was it Murder or just a reasonable justified exercise of police powers of arrest? We cannot simply swallow wholesale police justifications - we need an INDEPENDENT inquiry to satisfy all of us that there was no 'criminal' element in that killing. Police cannot investigate the alleged wrongdoings or criminal actions of their fellow officers - so it must be an Inquest by the Magistrate/Judge, or even SUHAKAM or some other independent body...

There has just been too many 'shoot to kill' incidents involving Malaysian police over the years...some get reported in the media some do not? 

Time for Inquiries in Deaths cause by police shootings ...Time for police to stop 'justifying' the killings by alleging that they were suspected criminals or based on 'police records'[is it even based on past convictions - remember presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court after a fair trial - Police no power to say who is a CRIMINAL or who is not - their duty is to arrest and investigate...their 'belief' of guilt is irrelevant - only the court after a fair trial decides who is guilty of a crime in Malaysia...

The new government must review Police Standard Operating Procedures - in this case, in the same media report 'State police chief T Narenasagaran said the identities of the men, in their 20s and 30s, had yet to be ascertained'....but then goes on to say 'He said the three men were suspected of committing 15 break-ins into factories in Bukit Mertajam, with losses close to RM620,000. He said the men were experts in prising open safes.“We believe the gang had other members and we are on the lookout for them,” Narenasagaran said.' - How can this be when you already said that the police have yet to identify them who were shot and killed....? You do not know who they are - so how can you say that they are part of a gang...or they are suspected to have done other crimes...Does it not define logic?

Too many police shot and killed incidents.... 

* It will be good that the police also come up with written statements, that are available to the public on their websites...after all, the Media can get it wrong. But, if the police do not correct (or demand correction of media reports), it may be reasonable to assume that what the media report is true and accurate...

Man shot dead in Penang after threatening cop with knife -November 2018


Police shoot dead five of six robbers in Kuchai Lama heist ...

Five robbers shot dead in goldsmith heist | The Star Online

The Bar Council has written to the Honourable Attorney General requesting to hold an inquiry into the police shooting of six persons on October 3, 1998 at Tumpat Kelantan. By a letter dated October 14, 1998, the Chairman of the Bar Council’s Criminal Law Committee wrote to the Attorney General giving particulars of the Kelantan incident and why the powers of inquiry under Section 328 of the Criminal Procedure Code ought to be invoked.

The Bar Council likewise calls for an inquiry into the police shooting incident at Taman Sungei Besi Indah, Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 1998 where reportedly three men and two women, including a pregnant woman, were shot dead in a police operation.

The Bar Council notes that a number of social and non-governmental organisations have jointly submitted a memorandum to the Government on October 14, 1998 expressing public concern over the two incidents resulting in the killing of a number of persons in police operations.

The Bar Council is of the opinion that this is an appropriate case where the Attorney General may invoke his powers under Section 339 of the Criminal procedure Code to direct an inquiry into the cause of and circumstances of the deaths. A public inquiry will go a long way towards abating public concern over the two shooting incidents.-Police shooting incident at Taman Sungei Besi Indah, Kuala Lumpur

 

 

 

Cops kill 3 in Bukit Mertajam shootout



GEORGE TOWN: Penang police gunned down three men suspected of breaking into small factories in a shootout at an industrial area in Bukit Mertajam this morning.

State police chief T Narenasagaran said the identities of the men, in their 20s and 30s, had yet to be ascertained and that the bodies had been sent to the Seberang Jaya Hospital for post-mortem.

At a press conference here today, Narenasagaran said policemen came across the burglars, who were in a Toyota Camry, during a patrol round at the Permatang Tinggi Industrial Area in Bukit Mertajam at 2am.

“Our team of 12 policemen was already in the area as we had received a tip-off that the bandits were about to act,” he said.
Narenasagaran said when policemen approached the Camry and ordered the occupants to pull over, the car sped off. He said police gave chase until the driver lost control and the car crashed into a ditch.

“They then got out of the car and started to shoot at the police, with one trying to attack a policeman with a parang. In self-defence, we had to shoot them,” he said.

Narenasagaran said police retrieved two spent bullet shells used to shoot at them. He said six rounds of .38 Colt ammunition was found on them.

He said the three men were suspected of committing 15 break-ins into factories in Bukit Mertajam, with losses close to RM620,000. He said the men were experts in prising open safes.

“We believe the gang had other members and we are on the lookout for them,” Narenasagaran said. - FMT, 27/8/2019

Three killed in shootout with police in Bukit Mertajam

GEORGE TOWN: Three men, believed to be foreigners and members of the notorious ‘Geng Tebuk’ that were involved in a spate of robberies as well as house and factory break-in cases, were killed in a shootout with the police at the Alma Light Industrial Area, in Bukit Mertajam near here, early this morning.

Penang police chief Datuk T. Narenasagaran said state Serious Crime Investigations (D9) Division personnel were patrolling the area at around 2am when they spotted a Toyota Camry car being driven in suspicious manner.

“The police then attempted to approach the car for inspection when the driver suddenly sped off causing a chase to ensue until the car skidded onto the road shoulder,” he told a press conference, here today.

He said three men jumped out of the car and fired shots and attacked the police with parang and to defend themselves, police fired shots at those men.

Investigations found that three men in their 20s and 30s were killed in the shootout and police found, among others, a .38 revolver with four live rounds of ammunition and two bullet casings, two parangs, a metal cutter, a knuckle duster and grinders.

Narenasagaran said the Toyota Camry car, believed to be used by the gang for house and factory break-ins was seized and police also believed that they took part in more than 15 cases in the state since last year involving losses amounting to RM620,000.

“Initial investigations revealed that the three men were trying to break into a factory in the area when the police spotted them,” he said.

He said police were conducting patrols around the industrial area after receiving numerous reports of break-ins and investigations found that gang members had the expertise to break into the factories through the roof before opening the safe and stealing money or any other valuables there.

Police believed that there were group members still at large and efforts were being made to track them down, he added.

He declined to reveal the three men’s country of origin until police investigations were completed, including obtaining their citizenship documents. — Bernama - Sun Daily 27/8/2019,

Three burglars killed in shootout with cops




Three burglars believed to be foreign nationals were killed in a shootout with police here early this morning. - NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Three burglars believed to be foreign nationals were killed in a shootout with police here early this morning.

The 2am incident which took place at Jalan Pala 6, Permatang Tinggi Industrial Area here unfolded when the trio were in the midst of breaking into a factory.

Sources said the three suspects upon realising that police had caught up with them,, fled the scene in their car.

“While making their get-away, the suspects began shooting at the police.

“This forced the police to return fire on the assailants, killing all three on the spot”, he said.

It was learnt that the trio were part of a gang which were active in breaking into factories in the area.

They were believed to be involved in at least five previous breaking and entering cases.

Apart from a gun, police also found a machete and other tools used in breaking into the factory in the suspects’ car.

Police are expected to hold a press conference on the case at noon today at the Penang Police Contingent headquarters. - New Straits Times, 27/8/2019

Police gun down Penang robbery gang in shoot-out





PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network
GEORGE TOWN - Police gunned down Gang Tebuk gang members who were involved in a series of factory break-ins since last year.

In a shoot-out between police and the robbers near a factory in Alma, Bukit Mertajam, the three-member gang, all foreigners, were killed.




Penang police chief Comm Datuk T. Narenasagaran said they spotted the suspects, aged between 20 and 30, near the factory at about 2am on Monday.




Police opened fire at them but the suspects fled in a car before crashing about 50m from the factory.

"One of them, armed with a revolver, fired several shots at the police while the other two charged with their parang.

"Police returned fire and killed all of them, " he said during a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters.

Comm Narenasagaran said some RM620,000 (S$204,530) was reported stolen from break-ins and robberies in the Bukit Mertajam area since last year.

"We believe we will be able to solve at least 15 cases by crippling this gang, " he said. - Asia One, 28/8/2019