PETALING JAYA, 30 April 2010: The police have denied the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) a copy of its written guidelines on the use of firearms despite requests following a shooting that happened last year.
“The police have told us that there are written guidelines. However, it is a very confidential document,” Suhakam commissioner Datuk Siva Subramaniam told The Nut Graph in a phone interview.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visits Aminulrasyid’s
family (file pic courtesy of DAP)“The police have told our officers that they may read [the relevant provisions] but that we cannot have a copy,” Siva added.
He said Suhakam asked for the police guidelines following the police shooting of Norizan Salleh who was shot five times but survived. On 26 April 2010, 15-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah was shot dead in a car by police in Shah Alam.
Siva said that the police standard operating procedure on the use of firearms should be made public.
“The public doesn’t welcome a trigger-happy attitude from the police,” said Siva.
Internal and restricted
Earlier attempts by The Nut Graph to obtain the police guidelines were also unsuccessful.
When asked by The Nut Graph on 2 Mar 2010, at a ministry event, about Norizan’s shooting, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein sidestepped the question about shooting guidelines.
The Nut Graph then wrote to the ministry on 3 Mar 2010 to request for the guidelines to be disclosed in the interest of public accountability.
The ministry replied in a letter dated 30 March with the following: “The ministry takes note of your request for the guidelines on the use of firearms by the Royal Malaysian Police.
“In relation to the aforesaid request, you are advised to liaise directly with the police at the following address.”
The letter provided the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)’s address at Bukit Aman.
The Nut Graph sent in a written request on 28 April to the IGP for the written guidelines and is awaiting a response.
The Nut Graph was informed in March by Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah that the guidelines were an “internal, restricted administrative document not meant to be circulated in public.”
Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago said that media reports show there were 39 fatal police shootings in 2009 while a Suaram statement said there were 44 such deaths the year before.
According to these statistics, there are on average more than three reported deaths per month from police shootings.
Police report of finding a machete in Aminulrasyid’s car is met with doubt from the public
“While we concede that police have the right to self-defence, in cases such as [Aminulrasyid's], the public won’t buy the story. They even doubt the report that police found a [machete] in the car. It is vital that an inquest is held into the death to build up public confidence in the police,” Siva said.
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