PETALING JAYA: The family of Prebet Adam Jaafar, the soldier who went amok at the Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur in 1987, has come out to apologise to the Johor royal family.
Hawa Jaafar, 53, his younger sister, refuted the urban legend that Prebet Adam went on a shooting spree because their brother was killed by Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail when he was a golf caddy to the former Johor Ruler at the time.
She said the family had to hold back their shame and anger for 30 years because they were unable to explain the truth to the public and the authorities.
“Adam went amok in Chow Kit due to problems in his workplace and not because our brother was killed by the Sultan.
“I apologise to the family of the Tunku Mahkota Johor (Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) for being dragged into this slander involving my brother Prebet Adam.
“I want to clarify that there were no deaths involving our siblings due to murder. All of us are still alive except for one who passed away in 1975 in a fire.
“In the name of Allah, there was no murder at all,” she told a press conference at her house in George Town on Thursday, a video of which Malay daily Berita Harian uploaded to its YouTube channel.
The video also shows two other siblings present during the press conference, Arina and Arman. Adam is the eldest of nine siblings.
The urban legend over the Chow Kit incident was that the brother was supposedly a golf caddy who had laughed at Sultan Iskandar when the ruler missed a shot.
The late Sultan had then supposedly hit Adam’s brother on the head with a golf club, causing his death.
On Oct 17, 1987, Adam, then a 23-year-old soldier, stole an M16 rifle and a motorcycle from his army camp in Ipoh.
The army Ranger Regiment sharpshooter then rode to Kuala Lumpur.
The next night, he wrote a message on his hotel room mirror: “A damned night for Adam. Mission: to kill or be killed.”
He left his hotel and went on a shooting spree in the city’s Chow Kit area that left one person dead from a bullet ricochet and several others wounded.
Adam shot at cars and at a petrol station fuel tank that burst into flames. He eventually surrendered and at his trial, his defence lawyer entered a plea of temporary insanity.
At the press conference on Thursday, Hawa said the family does not know any member of the Johor royal family and pleaded with the media to help tell the real story and to inform the Tunku Mahkota Johor of their apology.
“We have been accused of receiving RM10,000 monthly to deny the murder. Just look at my house.
“We are merely commoners and have never received a single cent from anyone to deny this matter.
“I just want to ask for justice for those who have been victims of slander due to this,” said Hawa.
The Prebet Adam controversy resurfaced when Tunku Ismail, the Johor crown prince, shared his views on the country’s political situation in a post on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page on Sunday (April 8).
He touched on the story of Prebet Adam, saying that his late grandfather Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was not given a chance to defend himself as royalty did not have the luxury of the Internet, and the mainstream media were controlled by the government of the day.
The Prebet Adam urban legend was also debunked in a book published last May, titled Konfesi Prebet Adam.
Its author Syahril A. Kadir posted on Facebook that he forgave those who made allegations and criticised him for writing the book.
“Some said that I created stories to clear the name of the Almarhum Sultan Johor.
“I was accused of receiving dedak (bribes) and insulted but I accepted it because I know I’m on the right side. Finally, Prebet Adam’s own family has clarified what actually happened,” he wrote.
Syahril’s book was based on interviews with key figures in the case, and includes first person accounts by Adam himself, his lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, and Leftenan Jeneral (R) Datuk Abdul Ghani Abdullah, the military officer who managed to persuade Adam to surrender.