Lim Kit Siang calls for full public inquiry into the police shoot-out in the heart of Ipoh town

Lim Kit Siang calls for full public inquiry into the police shoot-out in the heart of Ipoh town on August 13, and asks for a meeting with Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar

Last weekend, when I was in Ipoh, I found the general Ipoh public very agitated and angry about the indiscriminate police public shooting in the heart of Ipoh town on August 13 of police escapees causing three deaths and one serious injury.

Wherever I went in Ipoh, the members of the public came up to me to register their revulsion and strong reaction against the police handling of the incident – although the incident took place two weeks previously.

It is the general Ipoh public opinion that the police had acted recklessly and in complete disregard of human lives. The escape was caused by Devinder Singh, 24, who laid his hand on a revolver in the Ipoh Central Police Station through gross and criminal negligence of a police officer.

In attempting to make an escape, Devinder Singh not only took as a hostage a police corporal, he virtually took the other detainees who took part in the escape as hostages – as can be testified by eye-witnesses.

When Devinder Singh made his escape in the hijacked car, he had already fired two shots into the air. He had only three bullets left, and he had also assured the police during the protracted negotiations that he only wanted to escape.

The public machine-gunning, not only of Devinder Singh, but also the other unarmed escapees, is grossly wrong and improper – which has created the public revulsion and anger among the Ipoh public, who are not trying to defend either criminals or drug addicts.

There must be a full public inquiry into the police handling and indiscriminate police shoot-out if the people’s confidence in the Perak police is to be restored. Such a full public inquiry is necessary and imperative if the police are to be regarded as Level-headed upholders of a law and order, and not panicky, trigger-happy gunmen.

I would also like to know how such a shocking plan involving public indiscriminate shooting could be approved by the police authorities, and who are the police officers who gave authority for it.

I have discussed this matter with my colleagues, Sdr. Lim Cho Hock, DAP MP for Ipoh, and Sdr. P. Patto, DAP State Assemblymen for Gopeng. I have decided to write to the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, for a meeting over this serious matter, for this is too serious an event which should not and could not be covered up.