Press Statement:

10 October 2013

Lawyers for Liberty is deeply concerned and disturbed at Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s ‘shoot first’ approach to law enforcement, which was voiced at the Malacca International Trade Center in Malacca last Friday.

The Home Minister was reported to have said that most victims of violent crime were in fact of Malay ethnicity, therefore when dealing with those suspected of the crimes, he had advised to ‘shoot first’.

It is disturbing that our Home Minister has given his endorsement to all law enforcement officials to mete out death sentences to suspected offenders on the street, without due process.

It is evident that the Home Minister is unaware of the basic concepts of the rule of law that underpins our justice system and has chosen to trample on the Federal Constitution and human rights. Fundamental principles of the right to life, liberty, a fair trial, due process and innocence until guilt is proven are concepts that appear to be alien to the Home Minister, which is a cause for alarm for all Malaysians.

This can be seen in his adamant views on welcoming back detention without trial, by taking ownership of the draconian amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.

By encouraging law enforcers to ‘shoot first’, the Home Minister has effectively ordered policemen and officials to disregard the criminal justice system, due process and has legitimized the cold-blooded murder of ‘suspects’ without ever being brought before a court of law.

It is also ironic that a minister so bent on curbing gangsterism with preventive detention laws and ‘shoot to kill’ policies does not hesitate to befriend the gangsters of ‘Tiga Line’.

His statement disregards and disrespects the tragic deaths of many innocent Malaysians and their long suffering families, such as Aminulrasyid, the Glenmarie Trio, the Cheras Trio, Dinesh Dharmasena and Pua Bee Chun, to name a few.

In view of the criminal nature of Zahid’s statement, we call for his immediate arrest and prosecution for instigating murder.

We also call upon Prime Minister Mohammad Najib Razak to take stern action against ministers who display such disregard for human lives and civil liberties.

Released by,
Michelle Yesudas
Legal/Campaign Coordinator
Lawyers for Liberty

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