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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Man says cops shot his wife after car chase, demands explanation



Foo holds up a photograph of his wife to reporters. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KLANG, Jan 31 — A lorry driver is demanding an independent probe into why his young wife was allegedly shot dead by police after an apparent car chase two weeks ago at a housing estate here ended with a bullet-riddled car.
The incident took place on January 18 at about 8.30pm when Pua Bee Chun, a 22-year-old housewife, together with a friend were said to have been pursued by the police while driving at Taman Sentosa here.
Foo Voon Kong, 26, told reporters here today that his wife, according to the post-mortem, had died from a bullet wound to the heart.
“There were 24 bullet holes in the side of the car,” Foo said.
“I was notified by someone. I thought he was joking so I said don’t joke. The person then offered to pick me up and go the location and as I arrived, my wife was already in the bodybag,” said the father of two.
“The police shot my wife,” added Foo.
He said that the authorities had not given him any explanation as to why Pua, described as a petite and harmless girl, was shot. 
Foo has since lodged a police report in which he called for action to be taken against the Klang police for failing to justify him of the shooting of his wife.
Pua’s death comes in the wake of re-invigorated calls for Putrajaya to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) after public furore broke out over two police-related deaths this month.
Less than two weeks ago the police were accused of beating up a security guard to death. C. Sugumaran, 39, was said to have had his hands handcuffed while eyewitnesses claimed he was lynched by the police and a mob of about 20 people.
Sugumaran’s death is part of a list of other alleged police killings including the custodial death of Chang Chin Te earlier this year; A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009; and the deadly police shooting of 14-year-old schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010. In all the cases, the police denied any wrongdoing.
In Pua’s case, the police were again accused of trying to hide their mistakes when Foo claimed recordings of the shooting caught on nearby closed-circuit cameras were confiscated and subsequently “wiped out”.
“To erase the evidence itself is a criminal offence,” said Puchong DAP lawmaker Gobind Singh Deo, a lawyer now representing the deceased’s family.
According to Foo, the cameras belonged to those from the surrounding houses where the shooting took place. He, however, did not explain how he knew the police had erased the recordings.
Klang DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago demanded that Bukit Aman launch an independent probe on the incident and the Klang police.
“From the 24 bullet holes you can see that the police are trigger-happy,” said the first-term MP.
Gobind said he and the family of the deceased will soon announced their next course of action which, he said, would not exclude legal action against the police.
A United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2010 visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported in 2011 that between 2003 and 2007 “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities.”
Both Santiago and Gobind said the shocking rise in numbers of police-related deaths in recent times strengthens the need for the IPCMC, an idea rights groups and politicians have called for since 2006.

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