The Home Minister and the Inspector-General of the Police must be arrested immediately for the fatal shooting of five suspected gangsters in Penang, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president N. Surendran.

He said that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s admission yesterday, during an interview on pay TV Astro Awani, that police shot the five dead without warning amounted “to cold-blooded murder”.

"Ahmad Zahid's stunning admission that police believed that the Penang quintet was armed and therefore decided to intentionally kill them means that it is pre-meditated murder under Malaysian law," Surendran said in a statement today.

The five – J. Gobinath, R. Ramesh, N. Rakan, M. Suresh and A. Vinuyt – were shot dead in Sungai Nibong, Penang in a police crackdown on violent crime. They were said to be members of the notorious Gang 04.

Surendran said police could only shoot criminal suspects if they jeopardised the lives of others, but Ahmad Zahid's comments on television yesterday made it clear that the police had entered the apartment in Sungai Nibong with the intention of executing them.

Surendran also slammed authorities for not being able to get their facts right.

He said Ahmad Zahid said police had decided to shoot first as the suspects were believed to be armed, but IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that the suspects shot at the police first, so they were forced to return fire, killing all five men.

"So which version is the truth? Ahmad Zahid, Khalid and the government have much to answer for as they have cheapened the value of human life in Malaysia. They have also encouraged acts of criminality by the police force," Surendran said.

He urged the authorities to haul in Ahmad Zahid and Khalid, alleging that they were hiding the truth and also for aiding and abetting the fatal shootings, offences which are punishable under the Penal Code.

"The deaths of J. Gobinath, R. Ramesh, N. Rakan, M. Suresh and A. Vinuyt must be classified as murder and the files reopened in view of Ahmad Zahid's admissions. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should remove Ahmad Zahid from his Cabinet pending the outcome of investigations," Surendran demanded.

At 4.30am on August 19, a team of policemen stormed an apartment in Sungai Nibong where the five were hiding.

They were shot dead after they reportedly opened fire first, forcing police to return fire in self-defence.

Khalid later said police recovered three firearms and several rounds of ammunition at the scene.

He also said the five had been responsible for at least 10 murders and two attempted murders in Kedah, Penang and Negeri Sembilan.

The families of the dead men and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P. Waythamoorthy have called for an inquest to be held.

Source: The Malaysian Insider