PETALING JAYA • A senior Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) politician was shot dead as he waited at a traffic light in Lutong, north of Miri city, yesterday, sending shockwaves across Sarawak.
Mr Bill Kayong, 43, the political secretary to Miri MP Michael Teoh, was shot in the neck near the E-Mart supermarket on Permyjaya- Kuala Baram Road. His Toyota pick-up truck bearing the PKR election logo was riddled with bullet holes on the driver side, reported The Star.
PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she was shocked by the shooting and urged party members to remain calm and allow the police to conduct investigations.
Dr Teoh, Sarawak DAP secretary Alan Ling and Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP) secretary general Sebastian Ting rushed to the scene following the shooting.
Police have formed a special task force to investigate the murder. Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar announced that the task force would be led by Sarawak CID's chief, Senior Assistant Commissioner Dev Kumar M.M. Sree Shunmugam.
Tan Sri Khalid urged the public to not speculate on the motive behind the murder as investigations were ongoing. "Let us probe what really happened. We will find out how and what happened in due time," he said. He also urged those with information, specifically eyewitnesses, to come forward to facilitate investigations.
REMEMBERED BY COMMUNITY
We want to put on record that Kayong did not die in vain. He died as a Dayak hero.
DR DUSIT JAUL, Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association president, on the death of Mr Bill Kayong.
Mr Kumar said in a statement that Mr Kayong was "shot dead by an unknown person using a shotgun", The Star reported.
Non-governmental organisations working for the Dayak community condemned the killing and said the "senseless" murder had caused anger among the community.
A member of one of Sarawak's many indigenous tribes, Mr Kayong had been a vociferous campaigner on social matters and had banked on native customary rights (NCR) land issues in the state elections when he contested the Bekenu seat last month.
"We want to put on record that Kayong did not die in vain. He died as a Dayak hero. He gave his life for the Dayak struggle and he will always be remembered by the whole Dayak community," Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association president Dusit Jaul told a press conference here yesterday.
It is not the first attack on PKR representatives in Sarawak in recent times, reported The Malay Mail Online. Dr Teoh was assaulted by an unknown assailant outside his clinic on May 15 last year.
In that attack, the assailant hit Dr Teoh from behind with a baseball bat before fleeing in a car without a number plate, leaving the Miri MP with broken bones.