“People are angry when a member of public is shot but the same can’t be said when police are shot. They have no sympathy at all. Is there a difference between the life of the public and police [officers]?”
HOME Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, asking the public to be fair to the police following outcry over the fatal shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah, 15, who was driving home at around 2am on 26 April 2010 when he was shot in Shah Alam. (Source: Hishammuddin wants people to be fair to police, Bernama, 2 May 2010)
“I feel that we as parents must monitor our children. We cannot let go of our responsibility. We must monitor our children not only at night but also during the day because violence can happen at any moment. However, when it occurs in the early hours, then many questions will arise. Like why he was out so late, how can a 15-year-old drive a car without a licence, and what happened.”
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, responding to Aminulrasyid’s death by urging parents to keep their children at home at night to prevent them from harm. He died in the car he was driving after being shot at by police about 100m from his house in Shah Alam.
Shahrizat also urged Malaysians to change the culture of spending late nights at 24-hour eateries. (Sources: Shahrizat urges parents to be responsible for children’s whereabouts, The Malaysian Insider, 29 April 2010)
“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 racers.”
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, defending the police force from public criticism over Aminulrasyid’s shooting. Previously, Musa had suggested that the force stop work at 5pm after a High Court ruling that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission cannot question witnesses after office hours. Musa said the ruling did not apply to the police. (Source: Be fair, give balanced views, IGP tells critics of boy’s shooting, New Straits Times, 30 April 2010)
“As a rule of engagement, police [officers] are trained to use their firearms in self-defence but it also depends on the situation …
“A weapon does not mean a gun, knife or parang. A speeding vehicle which can be used to plough into police [officers] is also a dangerous weapon. It can endanger the lives of enforcement officers and other road users.”
Musa again, defending police, whom he said could not tell in the dark whether Aminulrasyid, who was driving a car, was an adult or teenager. He warned drivers not to flee when stopped by police to avoid causing suspicion.
News reports after the incident alleged that Aminulrasyid had tried to ram into police officers by reversing the car. This, however, was disputed by his friend and witness Azamuddin Omar, 15, who was with Aminulrasyid at the time.
Reports that police found a parang in the car have also been disputed by Aminulrasyid’s family, who are angry that the boy has been labelled a criminal. (Source: Be fair, give balanced views, IGP tells critics of boy’s shooting, New Straits Times, 30 April 2010)
Where are the guidelines?
“Police may discharge their firearms when they believe that their lives or the lives of those in their protection are in danger. The key words in the order are ‘reasonableness’ and ‘good faith’. Also, the right to self-defence ceases when there is no more threat to their lives and the lives of others …
“We have the luxury of time and hindsight, but our [police] do not have that luxury. They had to decide in a split second what to do.”
Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah, when asked why no charges were brought against police in the 30 Oct 2009 shooting of Norizan Salleh. He said police had acted within the ambit of police Standard Operating Procedures on the use of firearms. (Source: No charges in police shooting, The Nut Graph, 4 May 2010)
“Regardless of whether it is negligence by the family, that the boy had no licence, or that he was afraid of being checked by the police, extra caution should be practised in the usage of firearms …
“Those licensed to possess firearms must follow standard operating procedures. Opening fire must only be as a last resort and in self-defence.”
Shahrizat, having asked parents to be responsible for their children’s whereabouts late at night, also urged police to use firearms responsibly. (Source: Shahrizat: Use firearms only as last resort, The Star, 29 April 2010)
“The police have told us that there are written guidelines. However, it is a very confidential document …
“The police have told our officers that they may read [the relevant provisions] but that we cannot have a copy.”
Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk Siva Subramaniam, on police denying the government-initiated human rights body a copy of police guidelines on using firearms. The police say the guidelines are classified as secret.
Suhakam has been trying to obtain the guidelines since last year following Norizan Salleh’s case. Now, following Aminulrasyid‘s shooting, the guidelines will be re-evaluated by a special panel formed to investigate police officers involved in the incident.
Lawyer-politician Karpal Singh, who is acting for Aminulrasyid’s family, has called the probe into his death “a test case” on the reasonable limits for police to open fire. (Source: Suhakam denied shooting guidelines, The Nut Graph, 30 April 2010)