Trio held over deaths of two navy men in Malaysia

The three suspects were taken to a magistrate's court yesterday to be remanded for further investigations. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has instructed the navy to give the police full cooperation.
The three suspects were taken to a magistrate's court yesterday to be remanded for further investigations. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has instructed the navy to give the police full cooperation.PHOTO: BERNAMA

Case treated as murder after post-mortems found signs of abuse and injuries on bodies

IPOH (Malaysia) • Three men have been detained by police in Perak over the alleged murder of two young Royal Malaysian Navy men, the latest alleged violence against uniformed men by their mates.

In June, a navy cadet in Kuala Lumpur died after being allegedly tortured for two days by his mates over a missing laptop.

In the latest case, the two Malaysian navy men died last Friday after complaining of exhaustion while carrying out physical training at a navy facility in Sitiawan in the northern Perak state.

But the case was reclassified as murder after post-mortem reports found signs of abuse and injuries on their bodies.

The victims were seamen Mohd Baihaqi Nik Mat, 28, and Muhammad Lailatulman Mohd Sukri, 26.

The three suspects, aged 29, 37 and 44, were brought to a magistrate's court yesterday to be remanded by the police to help in the investigations.

Soon after their deaths, the navy said in a statement that the two victims were carrying out regular physical training.

"They complained of exhaustion while carrying out the training and were given rest in the detention room. They were experiencing vomiting, exhaustion and shortness of breath," the statement said.

The anguished families of Mr Mohd Baihaqi and Mr Lailatulman have told the media that the case must not be covered up.

The wife of Mr Mohd Baihaqi, nurse Noor Bazlin Mohammad, 28, said her husband last spoke to her on Wednesday. He said he was being detained as he had been late for work twice. They have three children aged 10 months to four years.

"He called me twice, at 11pm and at 11.41pm, told me not to worry and that he would leave his job," she said. "I was devastated when I received a call from navy officers at 5.30pm on Friday, informing me of his death."

Navy chief Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said it will cooperate with the police. The navy has formed its own committee to look into the matter.

Said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Twitter yesterday: "I have instructed the RMN (Navy) to provide its full cooperation to the police in their investigations. Nothing will be hidden. That is my promise."

In June, Malaysians were shocked by the death of navy cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, 21, of the Malaysia National Defence University. Doctors found 80 per cent of Mr Zulfarhan's body covered in bruises and burn marks. Five navy cadets have been charged with the murder. Another cadet was charged with abetting the crime. All of them are 21 years old.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'Trio held over deaths of two navy men in Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe