Are the authorities now caught in the web of their own lies and contradictions? This is the question posed by PKR vice-president N Surendran.

Surendran was referring to what Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's said in a television interview yesterday in which Zahid admitted that the police deliberately gunned down five suspected criminals in Penang, without warning.

NONE"Zahid made a stunning admission that the police believed the Penang five were armed and therefore decided to shoot them dead.

"Under Malaysian law, the police action of intentionally shooting them to death, allegedly because they were armed, amounts to premeditated, cold-blooded murder. 

"The police can only shoot suspects if they 'jeopardise the lives of others'," Surendran said in a statement today.

The Padang Serai MP also pointed out that Zahid's version completely contradicted Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar's take on the incident.

Khalid had earlier said that the suspects in the Sungai Nibong incident had opened fire on his men first, forcing them to return fire.

'Case now murder'

Zahid's version, Surendran said, was that the police decided to shoot first as the suspects were, according to police intelligence, armed.

"Which version is true? It appears that the authorities are now caught in the web of their own lies and contradictions.

sg nibong shooting 190813"Zahid, the IGP and the government have much to answer for. They have cheapened the value of human life in this country, and they have encouraged criminality by the police force," he said.

In the light of Zahid's latest comments, Surendran said, both Zahid and Khalid must be investigated for hiding the truth about the murders, which is an offence under sSection 201 of the Penal Code.

Furthermore, he said, the shooting of the Penang five must now be classified as murder, and the case must be immediately reopened.

"In view of the seriousness of Zahid's admission, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak must immediately suspend him as home minister pending investigations," Surendran added.-malaysiakini