Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said they are disturbed at Ahmad Zahid's "shoot first" approach to law enforcement, which he allegedly took during a speech at Malacca International Trade Centre on Friday.
"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should take immediate action against members of his Cabinet who display a blatant disregard for human lives and civil liberties," LFL legal and campaign coordinator Michelle Yesudas said in a statement."It is clear that Ahmad Zahid is ignorant of the basic concepts of the rule of law which underpins our justice system. Instead, he chooses to trample on the Federal Constitution and human rights," Michelle added.
Ahmad Zahid claimed that as most victims of violent crime were Malays, a "shoot first" approach was therefore advisable when dealing with the suspects.
"Fundamental principles such as the right of life, liberty, a fair trial, due process and innocent until proven guilty are concepts which appear to be alien to Ahmad Zahid."
She stressed that Ahmad Zahid's encouragement to "shoot first" was effectively telling police to ignore the criminal justice system and due process of the law.
"His unfeeling statement has disregarded and disrespected the tragic deaths of innocent Malaysians such as Aminulrasyid Amzah, D. Dinesh and Pua Bee Chun," she said, referring to victims of police shooting.
Pua, a housewife, died after being shot by police in Taman Sentosa, Klang, in January, with police claiming she was behaving suspiciously. Teenager Aminulrasyid was shot while out driving in August 2010, in Shah Alam, while Dinesh was shot at close range by policemen, who claimed they did so in defence after being attacked with a parang, in August last year.
Michelle said it was unacceptable and disturbing for the Home Minister to allow law enforcement officials to carry out the death sentence on suspects without due process.
"His adamant stance on reintroducing detention without trial with the draconian amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 is another example of his disregard for human rights," she added. - October 10, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider