23 September 2007
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has completed its fact-finding mission into the Sept 8 rioting incident in Kuala Terengganu.
Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said its results would be handed to Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.
“A decision will be made on Oct 8 whether a public inquiry should be held.”
Siva Subramaniam, who led the five-man team on the visit, said they had “made a few discoveries”.
“If there is something that can be learnt from the Kuala Terengganu incident, we hope everyone, no matter which side, will refrain from using students to further their political agenda. Students should be in schools,” he said.
He, however, declined to elaborate on his statement, saying that the case was still being investigated by police.
Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, steering committee member of the Coalition for Free and Fair Election, organiser of the ceramah, denied the involvement of any students at the gathering.
“Even if there were students, they were probably from the sekolah pondok (religious schools) or passers-by. I don’t think there were that many of them there,” Syed Azman said.
Some 50 people were interviewed in the course of the two-day Suhakam investigation.
Among them were 30 opposition members, including gunshot victim Suwandi Abdul Ghani.
Another 20 police and Federal Reserve Unit officers were also interviewed, including the police constable who discharged his firearm. Also interviewed was Terengganu police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner I Ayub Yaakob.
Suhakam, however, did not meet the second gunshot victim, Muhamad Azman Aziz.
The riot broke out on Sept 8 at 10.15pm in Kuala Terengganu after police attempted to disperse a crowd of 600 who turned up for a ceramah.
The riot, which lasted till after 1am, saw at least four policemen and three rioters injured and some RM1 million in damages.
In Kuala Terengganu, a 50-year-old welder turned himself in to the police yesterday.
He was the eighth person wanted in connection with the Sept 8 riot in Batu Buruk to be detained by police.
The man, from Kampung Durian Burung here, surrendered at the district police headquarters at 10.15am.
Meanwhile, the two people who turned themselves in on Thursday were released on police bail the same day.
The duo, aged 22 and 25, hailed from Kampung Kolam in Kuala Ibai.
They were among 46 people wanted by police to assist investigations into the riot.
State CID deputy chief Supt Khairi Ahrasa urged those who had their photographs published in the newspapers to come forward to help close this case.
NST: Suhakam completes probe into Batu Buruk riot
23 September 2007