KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 ― Human rights lawyers should explain the limits of self defence to Malaysians, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today following uproar on social media over a man in Terengganu who was charged with murder after he reportedly killed a robber.
The IGP said no one is given “absolute right” when it comes to murder, even in robbery cases.
He urged the public not to arrive at their own conclusions, and said lawyers well-versed on the subject matter and the Bar Council should take the opportunity to explain the law to Malaysians.
“It is not an absolute right to kill someone who tries to rob us,” he told reporters here at Bukit Aman.
“I call on the human rights lawyers to explain this to the public. They are quick to respond in other matters, why are they not doing so for this case? This is the role of the Bar Council, to explain to the public because they are supposed to be the experts,” he added.
He cited as example Section 99 of the Penal Code, which explains the situations where there is no right to private defence.
Section 100 of Penal Code, on the other hand, details circumstances where it is lawful for private defence of the body, which extends to causing death.
Mohamad Zulkifli Ismail, 50, allegedly stabbed two men who were trying to rob him at his house in Kampung Labohan, in Kerteh, Terengganu, on December 7, claiming self defence. One of the men died on the scene.
Zulkifli was then arrested and remanded until December 21. The case was investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code that covers murder.
According to Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Youth central committee member, Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, the man behind the Facebook page named “Selamatkan Zulkifli”, the case was changed to Section 304 for causing death by negligence.
But when the matter was brought up in court last Sunday, he said, the prosecution team switched the charge to Section 302 and added another under Section 326 for causing grievous bodily harm.
Murder is a non-bailable offence and carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.