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Tuesday October 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 29, 2013 MYT 11:24:24 AM
by austin camoens
PETALING JAYA: It is clear that the cigarette delivery man who went on a stabbing spree in Taman Melati recently was bent on hurting people because he brought a rambo knife on the job, said psychologist and criminologist Dr Geshina Ayu Mat Saat (pic).
“He was carrying a big weapon, which could not be concealed, in full view of other people who were potential witnesses to the attack,” said Dr Geshina, who is also a Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Forensic Science Programme lecturer.
Dr Geshina said it was likely something had set the man off, resulting in him running “amok”, killing two people and injuring two others.
“From what I have gathered, he picked the victims at random. But the question is, what drove him to commit these attacks?” she said.
Amok cases, said Dr Geshina, were unique to this part of the world, adding that elsewhere, it resembled “sudden violence”, which commonly involved random shooting.
“It (amok) is actually found in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the phrase is often used in a less serious manner when describing something that is wildly out of control or causing an episode of frenzy,” she said, adding that it was increasingly being viewed as psychopathological behaviour occurring after a period of brooding or depression.
However, Dr Geshina said in Thursday’s case, the “frenzy” occurred more than once and involved increasing violence.
“The knife was brought along during routine work. There were periods of lucidity during which the man, after causing grievous hurt, calmly returned to his vehicle, started the engine and drove off. He then purposely rammed into other vehicles, got out and violently assaulted others,” she said, adding that in many amok cases, the victims were usually family members or close friends.
Dr Geshina pointed out that in this particular case, the victims were unknown to the man.
Asked if high stress levels among workers could be a cause, Dr Geshina said there was more evidence linking heightened aggression levels (anger and hostility) to physical violence, which might result in manslaughter or murder.
“Acute stress typically leads to stroke, sudden death syndrome. In other words, violence directed inwards rather than outwards.
“Work related stress has a different behavioural outcome directed at employer or employer-represented figures with top managers becoming targets and not other suppliers or customers. Employees may become rude and angry to customers as they are tired or dispirited due to work pressure but not many would violently attack customers or strangers,” she said.
Dr Geshina said it was necessary for the man to be examined to ascertain his frame of mind during the attacks.
Tags / Keywords:
Courts & Crime, criminologist, geshina, stabbing, taman melati
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