Three youths were gunned down in their prime last year and now their families want the police to shed light on their deaths.

KUALA LUMPUR: Last year, police shot dead three youths – and today their families want answers to their unsolved “murders”.

The trio – Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shafie, 15, Mohd Khairul Nizam Tuah, 20, and Mohd Hanafi Omar, 22 – were gunned down in Jalan Kerjaya, Glenmarie, on Nov 13, after allegedly robbing a petrol station in Jalan U1/1 nearby.

The families of the victims this morning handed over a memorandum to the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar at the entrance of the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman here.

They want the police to investigate and charge those responsible for shooting the three youths “at close range”.

Speaking to reporters, Shamil’s mother Norhafizah Mad Razali said that the three families simply wanted answers.

“My son was only 15 when he was shot dead. I just want justice. Why was he shot? I don’t think he had ever done the things the police accused him of,” she said, adding that her son was shot in the middle of his head and chest.

“The police also said my son and the other two boys were armed with parangs, but where are the parangs? ” asked Norhafizah, 36, who was comforted by her husband when she broke down in tears.

Khairul Nizam’s sister, Norhaliza Tuah, 27, said her brother’s death did not make sense.

“I don’t believe he is a criminal. We were shocked when this happened. When we saw his body, there were bruises on his face. Was he hit before they killed him? We don’t know. The police must answer.

“The police even lied. They told us that he ‘had an accident’ and asked us not to worry. But when we reached the hospital, we saw his bullet-ridden body,” said Norhaliza.

Hanafi’s father, Omar Abu Bakar, 56, said police did not update the families even after reports were lodged two months ago.

“I am not satisfied. My son was shot in the right ear and if the police said he was attacking them, why wasn’t he shot from the front? This means my son was driving at the time. I want the police to speed up their investigations and take action against the people who killed my son,” he said.

Also present were human rights NGO Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), Suaram members and Opposition MPs Nurul Izzah Anwar and R Sivarasa.

The memorandum urged the IGP to:

  • investigate the fatal shooting of the three youths and prosecute the policemen who fired the shots;
  • stop abusive and arbitrary practice in the discharge of firearms;
  • make public the Inspector-General Standing Order on police guidelines in the discharge of firearms;
  • support the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to function as an external body to investigate complaints about police conduct; and
  • support human rights education and training programmes to change the attitudes and methods of law enforcement personnel.

“We are here because the police have committed murder and we can prove it. The three youths were shot at close range. It looked like all three were kneeling when they were shot. Why are the police covering up? We have lodged a police report on Nov 20 and nothing has been done,” said N Surendran, a lawyer from LFL.

“We are worried for the people. There is a real need for an IPCMC. We are here for all the other teenagers in Malaysia who are in danger as well. We intend to pursue this until there is justice for the families of the victims.”

No accountability

Fellow LFL lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said Malaysia was faring badly in terms of extra-judicial killings in comparison with other countries.

“Is it so hard for the police to be responsible? Even if the victims were criminals, should they be shot like that? We are troubled and puzzled. We want the police to prosecute those who have been cruelly murdered. They say they are ‘seasoned criminals’ but they don’t even have a single police record.”

Added Nurul: “This is not a political issue. It’s about the future of our children. We want a better system so that this sort of incident won’t recur.”

Sivarasa said: “This incident has all the traits of a murder case. It is not isolated. The police simply do have any accountability whatsoever.”

Surrounded by a crowd of about 40 people, Bukit Aman public relations department chief inspector Saipul Anuar Razali received the memorandum.

“The investigations are still ongoing. I am here to receive the memorandum. The IGP will answer all your questions later, ” he told the family members.

When pressed for answers on the status of the investigations, Saipul left to check but returned later to say it was a Saturday and he could not get in touch with any officers.

He promised to have the answers on Monday.

In the incident, the police claimed the three youths were members of the notorious “Geng Minyak” and were wanted for preying on petrol stations in isolated areas.

The trio were apparently fleeing the scene when they bumped into a team of policemen who were patrolling the area.

A car chase ensued. When the car skidded and stalled by the roadside some 2km away, the police said the trio alighted and tried to assault them, forcing them to open fire.

All three sustained similar gunshot wounds to the forehead and chest.

The families of the victims later lodged reports urging the police to investigate the killing, which they regarded as “murder”.

Teoh El Sen | January 8, 2011,