|Howls greet Malaysia’s license to murder criminals
Outrage was growing in Malaysia over a call by a security minister for police to “shoot first'' when faced with criminal suspects, with the opposition branding his remarks as giving a “license to kill.’’
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the minister for internal security, made the comment at a gathering with community leaders last Friday to discuss security in the wake of a rise in violent crime.
“I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If we get the evidence, we shoot first,'' the Malaysian Insider web news portal quoted him as saying.
In recent weeks, 10 criminal suspects have reportedly been killed in police shoot-outs.
An aide to Zahid confirmed the minister's remarks, and said he was abroad.
S. Arulchelvan, secretary general of the Socialist party of Malaysia, expressed disgust and anger over Zahid's statement.
“I am shocked. It is a very dangerous order. He is giving the police the license to kill. This is total disregard for the rule of law,'' he told AFP.
Opposition lawmakers have criticized Zahid's statement, branding it an endorsement for police to commit murder.
“This unprecedented admission by the Home Minister is a shock to the nation. It is nothing short of ministerial endorsement of extra-judicial killings by the police; it is incitement and approval of cold-blooded murder by the police force,'' opposition MP N. Surendran said.
“Zahid is inciting the police to be trigger-happy when confronting suspects,'' Surendran, a member of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Keadilan party, continued.
“All Malaysians are put in grave danger by this unlawful 'shoot-to-kill' method of law enforcement,'' he said in a statement.