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Ex-detainees likely behind shootings: Malaysia police
Publication Date : 06-08-2013
Malaysian police have said former Emergency Ordinance (EO) detainees are possibly the culprits behind the recent spate of shootings, even as another gunfire death has taken place.
Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Hadi Ho Abdullah said the shootings could be related to the repeal in 2011 of the EO, a law introduced after the 13 May 1969 racial riots that allows detention of suspects without trial. About 2,600 detainees were released last year following the repeal.
"It cannot be coincidental," he told local reporters on Monday. "We have made a study. From 2012 to June 2013, of the 130,000 arrested in the whole country... close to 30 per cent are repeat offenders."
Hadi Ho, who heads a task force to crack down on gun trafficking, said the number of smuggled firearms seized by police had doubled this year from last year.
Former federal CID director Zaman Khan had suggested on Sunday that revenge killings by EO detainees were partly behind the new wave of gun violence.
Professor P. Sundramoorthy, a criminologist at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, said he does not rule out the linkage, as former EO detainees included hardcore criminals who faced high risks of repeating offences due to difficulty in getting acceptance by society.
"There have been very few success cases of rehabilitation among hardcore criminals and so, there is a need for tough laws to keep them in check," he said. "But, it will take at least five to 10 years for strategies and laws to effectively curb crime and so we cannot expect overnight success."
The Malaysian government is drafting tougher laws to be tabled next month to check the rise in gun-related crime.
Meanwhile, the shootings continued this week with a man killed and another injured in a drive-by shooting in Kota Baru, Kelantan, on Monday.
Amirul Tajo Nasir, 40, died eight hours after two men on a motorcycle stopped near a shop where he was having a drink and opened fire. A shop assistant was hit in the leg.
Police yesterday shed new light on the shooting last week of banker Hussain Ahmad Najadi, 75, after they raided the home of the alleged killer.
Police said they stormed the home of suspect Sei Ngan Chai, 44, a part-time car repossessor who has no criminal record, last week. But he had disappeared.
"We have raided the suspect's house and obtained his personal identification and other documents that will be vital in apprehending him," Kuala Lumpur CID chief Ku Chin Wah told local reporters Monday. "The police believe the suspect is still in the capital."
He said the suspect's wife was in the house during the raid.
A taxi driver who was held to assist investigations had led the police to an apartment in Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, where the suspect lived. The driver had allegedly driven the suspect's getaway car after the shooting.
The police also found a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol, which is believed to belong to the suspect. "However, that was not the gun used in the murder of Hussain Najadi," said Ku.
He added that the police will apply to the courts to extend the taxi driver's arrest. He was to be released today.
At least one shooting incident has been reported daily since July 27, resulting in six deaths and seven people injured so far. Almost all of the shootings were in public places.