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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Author: Private Adam allowed to carry M16 out of camp

Journalist Syahril A Kadir says sentry at camp in Ipoh was already used to seeing Adam take M16 out as he was a trained sniper who sometimes went out for practice.
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KUALA LUMPUR: There was nothing unusual about Private Adam Jaafar bringing an M16 rifle out from his camp in Ipoh, said “Amok at Chow Kit” author Syahril A Kadir.
Referring to the soldier who ran amok in downtown Kuala Lumpur with an M16 rifle nearly 30 years ago, Syahril said when Adam was stressed out, he would place the weapon in his bag and take it out of the camp.
“There was no suspicion. Security was used to seeing him do this, as he was a sharpshooter at the camp.
“One way for him to escape stress was to go shooting.
“And when he went out of the camp, just a wave of his hand at the sentry would do,” Syahril said at a book discourse on Monday night.
It was also easy for Adam to transport the rifle as it could be disassembled into smaller parts.
That was how Adam took his rifle from Ipoh to KL that fateful day in October 1987.
According to Brigadier-General (Rtd) Abdul Ghani Abdullah, who was responsible for persuading Adam to surrender, when Adam reached KL there were no issues as he went to an eatery, watched a football final shown on the television, then headed back to the hotel.
The problem, he said, started on Sunday when he was asked by the hotel owner to pay for his room. This made Adam angry.
And then came Monday, the drama of which turned Chow Kit upside down – Adam going amok and firing randomly, killing one person in the process.
“Monday started off as just a normal day until I got a telephone call from the defence operations group.
“I was then an operations staff officer, and I was asked to get Adam before any other action was taken.
“I was ordered to go to Chow Kit, accompanied by an intelligence officer,” Ghani said.
He added that they did not have a plan on how to persuade Adam, who was 23 at the time, to surrender.
“Everything was impromptu.”
‘Ready to fire’
According to Ghani, he had to earn Adam’s trust by showing that he bore no weapons, and as a confidence booster for Adam, he did not even wear a bulletproof vest.
“It was intense. He was trained. He was steady, ready to fire at any moment.
“I had to be smart. I did not try seizing his weapon, but persuaded him to put it down, and then shook his hands.
“Adam then took the rifle back up. What made me nervous was that he had 27 rounds of ammunition left.”
Ghani said he felt he was no match for Adam, who was young, well-built and physically fit.
“I held his hand, shook it, and then brought him down.
“But he resisted, as though he didn’t want to. He was still unsure,” Ghani said.
Eventually, Adam surrendered to his superior, ending the stand-off at Chow Kit. This was the beginning of the urban legend that Private Adam had run amok to “avenge his sister’s death at the hands of the then Johor sultan”.
In debunking the myth, Syahril said while it was true that Adam’s sister had died, she had in fact passed on when she was much younger.
“She died in a house fire in Penang. She died before Adam’s very eyes, when their house caught fire. The beam collapsed on her.
“He saw himself how his sister died. She did not die due to being hit by a golf club swung by the sultan,” Syahril added.  - FMT

1 comment:

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