Malaysia cops kill 5 in crime crackdown

2013-08-19 14:00
(Nielen Bottomley, News24)

(Nielen Bottomley, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian police said they killed five suspected criminal gang members in a shootout early on Monday, as they crackdown on a burst of violent crime that has shocked the country.

Police said they launched the nationwide anti-crime push on Saturday, following a growing public outcry over lawlessness that for the past month has seen near-daily shootings and other violence, the vast majority going unsolved.

The Barisan Nasional ruling regime has blamed the chaos on gang members and other criminals released when a tough security law that allowed preventive detention was scrapped in 2011 after pressure from reform advocates.

But police critics blame the national police force, which is widely viewed as corrupt and unprofessional, for failing to keep the peace.

Police said the five gang suspects were killed in an exchange of fire when police moved into their hideout in the northern state of Penang.

‘Brazen’ gun crimes

Known for its beach resorts, multicultural Penang has seen a recent spate of shootings, some in broad daylight, that authorities have blamed on a gangland turf war.

State police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi confirmed a media report on the Penang shootout.

"Yes it happened at 05:00. [2100 GMT Sunday]. The [Inspector General of Police] will give more details later," he told AFP.

The Star newspaper said the five dead were suspected to have been involved in the recent Penang violence.

Prime Minister Najib Razak called on police late last month to curb the "brazen" gun crimes that have sowed fear among normally laid-back Malaysians.

Malaysians have complained for years about a perceived surge in burglaries, robberies, and purse-snatching.

But concerns have spiked in the past month with a series of killings.

They included the shooting to death of Bahrain-born Hussain Ahmad Najadi, aged 75, who founded one of Malaysia's largest banks in the 1970s, who was gunned down in broad daylight on a street in central Kuala Lumpur on 29 July.

Police have yet to track down the shooter or offer a clear explanation of the crime.

The crackdown launched at the weekend in the capital will include increased roadblocks and patrols to corral "suspicious" people and gradually be expanded nationwide, police have said.

Police will employ a previously little-used law allowing them to detain people 14 days without a court order.

Media reports said 15 people were detained on Saturday. Police were yet to update the numbers.

Najib's administration - which set crime reduction as a key goal - says crime in the Muslim-majority country has fallen sharply the last two years.

The claim is widely met with public derision and accusations by the opposition that data is being tampered with.

Read more on:    najib razak  |  indonesia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.