44 people were shot dead by police last year in Malaysia
FORTY-FOUR people were shot dead by the police last year, most of whom were Malays and Indonesians, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
In a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), Dr Ahmad Zahid said 20 of those killed were Malays while 18 were Indonesians.
“The rest were four Indians and two Chinese,” he said, adding that at the same time, 68 cases of killings involving firearms were recorded in the country.
“Most of the firearms used for criminal activities are believed to be smuggled in from neighbouring countries,” he said.
He said high traffic and economic interaction at the country’s entrypoints along the borders had resulted in more “smuggling opportunities”.
The existence of back alleys along the borders, added Dr Ahmad Zahid, were also being utilised by locals to smuggle in firearms.
“Family ties as well as geographical factors such as the Malaysia-Thailand border with the near proximity of Sungai Golok and Rantau Panjang have created a network that leads to such smuggling activities,” he said.
To overcome the illegal use of firearms, Dr Ahmad Zahid said both the police and other agencies such as the Immigration Depart-ment, Malaysian Maritime En-forcement Agency, Customs Department and the Anti-Smuggling Unit had tightened their enforcement as well as shared information and held joint operations.
The police, he said, had carried out Ops Laras and Ops Api to counter the smuggling and usage of firearms in the country’s criminal cases.