KUALA LUMPUR: Police denied they took almost an hour to respond to the assassination of a Palestinian scientist who was killed in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday.
Inspector-General of police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said that a man in a viral video, which was uploaded on YouTube claimed that he was present when the shooting took place and tried to call the police three to four times and did not get any response.
“The video, which was in Arabic, was later translated and posted on Facebook by another person.
“He made an error in the translation saying that the man had tried to call the police 43 times,” he said to a press conference at city police headquarters on Sunday.
Mohamad Fuzi said the Facebook post was later taken down with the uploader admitting he made a mistake.
“However the video is full of lies as we received the first call at 6.41am and dispatched a patrol car to the scene at 6.44am, and the car arrived at the scene at 6.49am,” he said.
He said the viral video currently spreading online was fake news that was tarnishing the reputation of the Royal Malaysian Police and the country as a whole in the international eye.
“We urge the man in the video to come forward to shed light on the issue,” he said.
He added that another viral video that shows a man being arrested was actually connected to a separate case.
Mohamad Fuzi said the body of the victim was currently undergoing a post-mortem at the Selayang hospital and added that the police are awaiting the results.
“No arrests have been made and the murder weapon has not been recovered.
“We are still investigating all angles. We can not confirm yet that he was part of Hamas or that the killers are European as claimed by some witnesses,” he said.
Mohamad Fuzi said that the victim was active in an NGO and regularly gave talks locally, as well as in Europe and the Middle East on Palestine and other issues.
“He was also due to give a talk in Turkey in a few days,” he said adding that the victim’s family are being given protection by the police.
When asked about this being second possible assassination of a foreign national following the Kim Jong-nam murder and the overall safety of people in the country, Mohamad Fuzi said he guaranteed the safety of everyone in Malaysia.
“It is unfortunate that this has happened but I guarantee Malaysia is safe. We had already stepped up security due to the election season and we will continue to make sure everything is under control.
“We need some help from the public actually. Anyone with information, please come forward,” he said.
Dr Fadi Al-Batsh, 35, was walking to a nearby mosque some 300m from his home at Idaman Puteri Condominium in Medan Idaman, Setapak at about 6am on Saturday (April 21) when two gunmen on a motorbike shot him dead.
The two men wearing full-face helmets and riding a high-powered BMW motorcycle, were seen later seen on CCTV to have waited for 20 minutes in the darkness of dawn near Jalan Meranti in Setapak, before firing more than 10 shots at a Palestinian lecturer, killing him on the spot.
It is learnt that the victim has been in Malaysia with his wife and three children for seven to 10 years and he is well known among the community. He had permanent resident status.
Mohamad Fuzi also said police are unable to confirm at the moment if the victim was an expert in bomb making as claimed by some on social media, saying that police are investigating the matter.
Al-Batsh's father told Al Jazeera that he accuses Israel's intelligence agency Mossad of being behind his son's killing and called on the Malaysian authorities to look into who carried out the "assassination" as soon as possible.