Lawyer N. Surendran (right) listening as Chief Inspector Saipul Anuar Razali explains he was only tasked to receive the memorandum. — Picture by Yow Hong Chieh

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The families of three youths — whose lives ended in a Glenmarie shooting — will get a police status update in two days time, after two months of silence.The police promised today they will inform the lawyers representing the families by Monday.

Lawyers for Liberty, together with the families of the three killed, extracted the guarantee after handing in a memorandum at Bukit Aman police headquarters here demanding “effective investigation” into the fatal shootings.

Chief Inspector Saipul Anuar Razali, who received the memorandum on behalf of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), said the lawyers could contact public relations assistant director ACP Razdi Ramli on Monday for an update.

Saipul also promised to forward the lawyer’s demands to IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar today.

Lawyer N. Surendran of Lawyers for Liberty said he was “disappointed” with the police’s stonewalling today.

Saipul had earlier said he could not check on the status of the case as it was a Saturday and he was only tasked to receive the memorandum.

“They should be able to tell us now (what the status of the probe is). We are disappointed that no action has been taken for two months,” Surendran said.

“We will continue to press this issue until we get justice for these three Malaysians.”

Muhammad Hanafi Omar, 22, Muhammad Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, and Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, were gunned down by the police after a reported high-speed car chase in the early morning of November 13 in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

The families of all three lodged police reports in November last year alleging the police had performed what Surendran characterised as a “gangland-style execution”.

The police claimed they had shot the suspects in self-defence when they charged at the officers with machetes at the end of a pre-dawn car chase.

However, Surendran has claimed that the three youths were shot in the chest and head from close range, with bullets exiting lower, suggesting the shooter fired from a higher position.

Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan had reportedly defended his officers’ actions by describing the three dead as “seasoned criminals” who were allegedly involved in at least three armed robberies in Selangor the week prior to their shooting.

The latest youth shootings have roused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers to demand for newly-installed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to end indiscriminate fatal police shootings.

According to human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), 88 people were killed in police shootings last year.

The non-governmental organisation also claimed not one police officer has been held accountable in the shootings and that the high number of deaths in 2009 was “alarming”, considering that there were only 13 such cases in the previous two years.

By Yow Hong Chieh, The
January 08, 2011