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05 May 2010

On Facebook, boy’s death sparks war of words

The shooting death of Aminulrasyid Amzah has sparked off a fierce war on Facebook between groups for the teenager and for the police.

Since the incident, these two groups have been abuzz with activity as the “fans” in support of Aminulrasyid are demanding that the policemen who shot him be investigated and punished.

The group supporting the police — the”Kelab Penyokong Polis DiRaja Malaysia” (Malaysian Police Supporters Club) — has risen to defend the men in blue, driving home the point of the various “sacrifices made by the police”.

“This is the attitude of people who forget where they come from, ungrateful... if the police were to not exercise their duties, our country would be in a state of chaos... don’t be rude to our police, respect them. They work day and night to maintain peace... the devils are using this case as a political tool... the world recognises the good work that our police can do,” said a wall post on the police supporters’ club.

The club, although created around the same time as the justice for Aminulrasyid page, currently only has over 6,000 fans. In contrast, the Aminulrasyid page has more than 60,000 fans.

Public anger against the police has steadily risen over the past week.

The pro-police group’s aims are focused on reminding people of the importance of the police force as an institution, and how it needs to be upheld and not insulted and ridiculed.

“These are the faces that have worked hard to make sure that the people in this country sleep peaceful... do not insult the police as if they have not done anything for our country, please don’t be emotional when commenting... be humans not animals,” said a caption below the pictures of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and his men posted on the fan page.

The administrators of the fan page, who remain unnamed, also expressed anger at DAP lawmaker Karpal Singh for being appointed Aminulrasyid’s family’s legal counsel.

“We the admin are shocked to hear that the mother of the late Aminul agreed to appoint Karpal Singh as the lawyer.

“Yesterday the mother stated and begged for politicians not to intervene in this case. Has the family forgotten that Karpal is a politician? There are so many more qualified lawyers to choose from, it’s just that we are slightly disappointed,” said the posting.

Both groups are equally aggressive in their tenacity to carry their message across.

Comments on the pro-Aminulrasyid page also contained strong language against the policemen for firing the fatal shot at Aminulrasyid and urged the policemen involved to come forward to assist in the investigations.

“Al-Fatihah to brother Aminul, those who are responsible, if you are really guilty please admit your guilt and apologise openly so that his soul can rest in peace. You may escape punishment from this world but what about the afterlife later on? Maybe there was a misunderstanding when it happened, but there’s no need for hiding the truth just to absolve yourself from guilt. Remember that the Almighty knows everything that happens,” said a posting.

The police supporters’ page has also been attacked by Facebook users who share similar views as Aminulrasyid’s fans.

“Hey what’s the point of this page, if you want to shoot as you please leave the name of Allah and Muhammad on that police badge. Islam never taught its people to kill for cheap thrills, especially innocent children,” read another posting.

According to initial reports, the Form Three student was shot in the head when he tried to reverse his car into four policemen after a high-speed chase, just 100 metres from his home in Section 11, Shah Alam last Monday.

Police also reportedly shot the tyres of the Proton Iswara to stop the vehicle during the incident.

A parang was also reportedly found in the car but this account has been disputed by witnesses and the family.

Aminulrasyid’s friend, who was in the car with him, came forward yesterday to deny the police version of events.

He denied his friend had tried to reverse the car to ram the policemen.

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