Sunday, May 2, 2010

Public wants transparent inquiry into boy’s shooting - says Najib

SIBU: Police should not be defensive over the shooting of a schoolboy nor do anything that could be construed as trying to cover up for their men, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

While expressing regret over the shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the prime minister said the investigations must be open and transparent as the public demanded this.

“The public wants answers and I hope the police will fully cooperate in the investigations,” Najib said at the Rajang Security Command military camp, home of the 9th Infantry Brigade, when he dropped by for lunch with officers and their wives.

The camp was one of seven places Najib visited in a hectic one-day programme here, which will see a by-election next week.

“The investigations should also satisfy the family of the victim as they have the right to know what really happened. I hope the police will cooperate and not cover up for anyone if they are wrong.”

Najib also warned the public against implying that the policemen were guilty before the investigations were completed.

“It is natural for the public to have the perception that the law enforcers are guilty when such incidents happen. The perception of guilt will always lie with the authorities.

“But we cannot be unfair, pass judgment or point fingers at anyone when we don’t have the complete facts.”

Najib also defended Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who has come under fire with calls for him to take responsibility for the shooting and resign.

“You cannot ask the IGP to step down after a single incident. Unless it (the incident) is the direct responsibility of the IGP ... (then) that’s a different story.”

The incident has been classified as murder and four policemen are being investigated for their role in the shooting.

Aminulrasyid, a Form Three student of SMK Section 9, Shah Alam, was shot while he was driving his sister’s Proton Iswara early on Monday.

Initial reports revealed that the victim, and a schoolmate, had grazed a car near a restaurant and were then chased by a group of motorcyclists and another car.

Two police cars reportedly joined in the chase and the policemen fired shots at Aminulrasyid’s vehicle to force him to stop.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that almost 20 shots were fired at the car. One of them struck the schoolboy in the back of the head, killing him instantly.

The car crashed into the retaining wall of a house some 100 metres from the victim’s home in Section 11, Shah Alam.

Police claimed they opened fire after Aminulrasyid tried to reverse his car into the policemen. They also claimed that they found a parang in the Proton Iswara.

The investigation papers, which were sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Friday, were returned to police for further work.

A special committee headed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop is overseeing investigations.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein urged the public to be fair and not have a negative perception of police.

In an interview with Bernama, Hishammuddin said the incident had put the police in a bad light.

He also urged all quarters to wait for the outcome of the investigations and to stop speculating or politicising the issue.

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