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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 5:34:00 PM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 6:03:20 PM
by rashvinjeet s. bedi
PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Datuk Sri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi took to Twitter Wednesday to defend his purported "shoot-criminals-first" remark.
He questioned if human rights only applied to criminals.
"What about the rights of the police and victims of robberies, shootings and murders. Why don’t the activists champion their rights? Are human rights only for criminals?" he tweeted.
Zahid had been heavily criticised for telling a closed-door forum in Malacca that gangsters would be "shot first" if evidence was obtained.
A recording uploaded on a news portal quoted Zahid as saying; "I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them (gangsters). There is no need to give them any more warning. If we get the evidence, we shoot first."
Zahid received backing from MyWatch advisor S. Gobikrishnan, who believed the general public supported his no-compromise stance on crime.
"He is doing a better job in tackling crime. It needed huge political will, although some may say he is doing so because of the looming Umno elections. It’s what people want," he said.
Gobikrishnan added that the Ops Cantas was a success.
He also agreed with the "shoot first" policy as it was the only way to strike fear into the criminals.
"If your brother or sister is chopped down by a criminal, you would agree with him. For me, criminals have no rights. I might differ other people on that," he said.
Human rights lawyer Edmund Bon, however, said that the issue was being over-simplified because civil society championed the rights of everyone who had been unfairly treated - including criminals and their victims.
"From what I see, there is an attempt to reduce crime but they are using the wrong methods," he said.
The Human Rights Watch had called on Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Tun Razak to remove Zahid for the alleged discriminatory remarks, which disregarded the right to life.
"Home Minister Zahid is Malaysia’s top law enforcement official, yet he is promoting the illegal use of lethal force," said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director.
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