Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president N. Surendran is ready to don body armour and accompany police and risk experiencing first-hand a shootout with criminals.

He was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying that while he was not sure about the offer by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, he was prepared to accept the invitation.

"If Khalid is serious, then I am prepared to accept the offer. I am willing to put myself in the line of fire with the policemen who are subject to similar risks," Surendran told the portal.

Khalid made the offer in a Twitter posting last night in the wake of mounting criticisms of the police's alleged indiscriminate shooting of criminal suspects.

Khalid had said Surendran, the Padang Serai MP, would be provided with adequate protection in the form of a body armour should he accept the invitation.

Surendran, a rights lawyer and vocal critic of the police force who has taken up cases related to custodial deaths and police brutality, said he was willing to accept the risks in the interests of creating a better criminal justice system.

Khalid told Malaysiakini that his offer was genuine, and was made so that Surendran could see for himself the risks faced by policemen in keeping the country safe.

However, he said the offer was contingent on Surendran signing an indemnity agreement in the event of any "mishap".

"I have issued the directive that Surendran be inserted in the coming operations involving armed criminals," Malaysiakini reported, quoting Khalid's Twitter posting.

"Surendran, please contact the Criminal Investigation Department director, whenever you are ready for sizing your body armour and signing the indemnity document."

The issue of police shooting took centre stage recently after the controversial remark by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urging police to "shoot first" at criminal suspects.

Ahmad Zahid had since backtracked on his statement, denying that he had called for extrajudicial killings.

Khalid has also dismissed allegations that his men were trigger-happy.

Even amid the controversy, seven suspected criminals were shot dead by police in two separate incidents in Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.

Source: The Malaysian Insider