Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy has urged inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun to conduct a thorough probe into a man shot dead by a police officer.
Yesterday, 41-year-old T Shanmugasundram was reported to have been shot in the head after he allegedly brandished an 18cm fruit knife at plainclothes police officer Mohamad Hafizi Mohamad Akhir.
Speaking to Malaysiakini today, Ramasamy said the officer’s action was excessive and constituted a “gross form of injustice”.
“I don’t understand how come that person (Shanmugasundram), with a fruit knife, posed such a big threat to the police officer so much that he was shot to death instantly.
“This is really a gross form of injustice against the person who was shot,” he said when contacted.
“So I am asking the police and the IGP to intervene in the matter and do a thorough investigation.
“And if found guilty, the police officer (Hafizi), should be punished severely.”
‘Cops shouldn’t be trigger happy’
The DAP lawmaker maintained that he was not calling for a limitation on police power, but said officers ought not to be “trigger happy” when carrying out their duties.
“Nobody is preventing the police from doing their job; the police should not be trigger happy. We want the police to be effective, to have a close rapport with society.
“Police cannot pull out a gun every time they see somebody brandishing a knife or something,” he said, adding that Shanmugasundram’s death could have been avoided.
According to the Malay Mail, Shanmugasundram had been quarrelling with a man in the Komtar building in Georgetown when Hafizi intervened.
Northeast District police chief Che Zaimani Che Awang was quoted as saying that Hafizi had fired the shot in self-defence after Shanmugasundram attacked him with the fruit knife.
Criminal record inconsequential
Che Zaimani had also told the media that Shamugasundram had 15 prior convictions, which included drug cases, theft, burglary and causing hurt to deter a public servant from discharging his duty.
Ramasamy condemned this as an attempt to “justify” the shooting.
“The 15 convictions and all, that has nothing to do with the killing, does it?
“Are they trying to justify the shooting by saying this guy had drug-related convictions in the past?” he asked.
When contacted, Penang police chief A Thaiveegan said that he had ordered for a “thorough and comprehensive investigation” into the incident with a report to be submitted as soon as possible.
“As servants of law and justice, (we) should always abide by the rule of law. We are not only enforcers of the law but also answerable to the law.
“So, we will not leave any stones unturned in this incident,” he told Malaysiakini.