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On Friday morning 25 April 2013 I read the shocking news of the execution-style killing of the Deputy Director General of Malaysian Custom, the 58-year old Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim while on his way to work in Putrajaya.

The late Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim

The late Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim

This kind of assassination of civil servants in Malaysia is very rare. The last two that I know of is when the then Inspector-General of Police  Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim  was murdered the same way when his vehicle stopped at the traffic light junction somewhere in Kuala Lumpur  in June 1974 on his way to work as well. The other one is Perak Chief of Police (CPO) Tan Seri Khoo in November 1975 , who was  similarly shot  at a traffic junction . As you can see all three assassinated men are in the enforcement fields.

The earlier assassinations had been attributed to communist terrorists  despite Abdul Rahman’s case  never having been solved.

This method of killing is presently attributed to the so-called underworld, a world where there are untold riches acquired through illegal means and where there are no laws. Drugs,weapons,prostitutions and human traffickings are their bread and butter. They are a scum of the society, enriching themselves and not giving back to the community through taxes besides inflicting horrendous misery upon innocent women,children and men they take advantage of. Gosh, there are no words to describe these proverbial blood suckers!

It is an occupational hazard for officers in these enforcement agencies and the government should strive to protect them especially those in the top decision-making level like providing them with bullet-proofed vehicle or equipping the vehicle with weapon-sensitive sensors as well as letting the bodyguard carry a weapon to shoot at those bloody killers on an escaping motorbike.

The suggestion by Cuepacs  here is a good step towards better  protection for  our officers engaging in high risk jobs.

I would like to think that the late Deputy DG of Custom is an incorruptible civil servant who was doing his job in the best way and according to procedures and usually this kind of officers are loathed by underworld figures because they cannot usually bribe them to allow for illegal activities to continue unimpeded.

I hope the police will strive to get to the  the bottom of this contract-killing. We the public will never know what they will finally unearth but for me as long as justice is done for this Deputy DG, it is sufficient under the circumstances. We may only  know the truth perhaps in 50 years’ time (if you lived that long!).

I am not teaching the police what they should do, but if I were them I would monitor and investigate as well those custom officers who are directly implementing the directives by the late deputy DG. Usually it is the internal information which identify which officer that obstructs certain corrupt practices at the departmental level  and he or she then becomes the target and their daily routines marked.

On the other hand, is the underworld sending signals to the other senior officers in Custom department to toe their line? In which case the government has got to revamp its security details for such officers. We cannot afford to have criminals dictate our enforcement system otherwise our country will go to the dogs.

My belated condolences to the family of Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim. May justice prevail and that his death is not in vain.


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