Three Indonesians shot dead by Malaysian Police

The Malaysian Police shot dead three alleged Indonesian criminals in Johor Bahru, their families have said.

The three victims — identified as Wahab, Sudarsono and Gusti Randa alias Agus — were reportedly killed after attacking patrolling police officers at the 37.2 kilometer point of the Lebuhraya Senai-Desaru road in Johor Bahru on Jan. 11 at 4:40 a.m.

The victims were shot multiple times and sustained wounds to their chests and abdomen.

Fadil, a relative of Agus and Sudarsono, said his family was deeply shocked by the news.

He said the family doubted claims that the two men were criminals.

“An official from the Indonesian Consulate General in Johor Bahru told us that Johor Bahru Ulu Tiram Police officers were on patrol when they saw what they deemed three ‘suspicious’ men. When the police approached, the men attacked the police with machetes and revolvers,” Fadil told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview.

Fadil said Agus and Sudarsono would not have launched the attack as they both had permanent jobs in the neighboring country. 

“We doubt the police’s claims as the two are employed in Malaysia. Agus worked at a oil palm plantation, while Sudarsono is employed by an iron factory. Also, how could Indonesians get firearms there?” he said. 

Fadil said Agus and Sudarsono, who were related, had worked in Malaysia for the past five years. 

Last year, they returned to their hometown in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, before returning to Malaysia in November 2013.

However, there are conflicting accounts on how the two entered Malaysia. 

“Some of my family say that they worked there, with the help of a recruitment company, while others said that they entered Malaysia on tourist visas,” he said.

Officials from the Foreign Ministry delivered the bodies of the three men to their families in Central Lombok late on Friday.

Each of the families received Rp 15 million (US$1,245) to cover the repatriation of their remains.

“We had to […] borrow money to ensure their bodies were returned home,” Fadil said.

Separately, Anis Hidayah, executive director of Jakarta-based Migrant Care, criticized the trigger-happy Malaysian Police. 

“The police did not need to shoot to kill. We have witnessed many cases of shooting when the Malaysian Police have not offered a clear explanation of why they killed suspects,” Anis said on Saturday.

Prior to the Johor Bahru accident, the Malaysian Police had gunned down four Indonesians, believed to be members of the notorious robbery gang Gang Ah Fatt, in Kuala Lumpur in October 2013.

Data from Migrant Care shows that between 2007 and 2014, at least 164 Indonesian workers were shot and killed by the Malaysian Police.

Anis said the multiple deaths indicated the Indonesian government’s lack of commitment to protecting its citizens. 

“The government has failed to push Malaysia to be transparent about those accidents,” Anis said. 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Kota Bharu Court in Kelantan, Malaysia, held the trial of Indonesian migrant worker Wilfrida Soik.

Wilfrida is accused of killing her Malaysian employer, Yeap Seok Pen, 60, who had Parkinson’s disease, 
in 2010.

In the hearing, the court heard from four witnesses — the owner of the agency that employed Wilfrida, a couple who first found her after the murder and a police officer investigating of the case.

The court is set to hold more hearings later this month and is expected to hand down a verdict on Wilfrida in February, she faces a maximum penalty of the death sentence.