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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Angry father seeks justice over ‘senseless’ assault on son

Sulaiman Kamal | 8:49 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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An allegedly intoxicated senior Sabah prison officer was caught on camera bashing a 23-year old over a poorly parked car.

KOTA KINABALU: The father of an assault victim is demanding an investigation into the brutal beating of his son led by a senior Prisons Department officer at a convenience store in the interior town of Keningau.
Cheah You Hock, 53, said that his son was assaulted by the men following a misunderstanding over an alleged traffic offence outside the shop.
In the incident which occured close to midnight on April 30, Ben Cheah Ping Xen, 23, sustained multiple injuries all over his body as the result of the assault which was captured on shop’s closed-circuit TV.
The CCTV video footage showed him being punched and beaten with a baton, belt and plastic stool as well as being kicked by the senior prison officer and three accomplices.
Ben claimed that the whole episode started when the senior prison officer who appeared to be intoxicated, confronted his friend who is also the owner of the convenient store, over the manner he had double-parked his vehicle outside the store, claiming that it was haphazard and almost caused him to ram into it.
Ben and a group of friends including the convenient store owner, were having a chat outside the store when they were approached.
“He (the prison officer) even asked us whether we knew who he was and without us asking, he identified himself as the Keningau Prison Director, Jaikol Bin Gubal.
“I then went up to him to apologise on behalf of my friend, but he became aggressive and slapped me on the face.
“My friends and two security guards on duty immediately rushed over to stop him. One of them also immediately called up the police station for help,” he related.
The senior prison officer then called for back-up and in less than five minutes, a group of his friends arrived at the scene.
Ben claimed that one of his friends tried to reason with them but he was punched in the face before they turned around and targeted Ben.
Silent cops
He said he panicked and ran into the convenient store to take cover but the prison officer and his group followed him in and beat him up inside the store.
“My other friends tried to come to my rescue but were prevented by one of the group members at the main entrance,” he said.
Three police personnel arrived at the scene in a patrol car some time later but did not intervene until Ben was dragged out of the store by the assailants.
“Only after that they (the police) came over to me and then brought me back to the police station.
“After having my statement taken, I was later given a medical chit to go for a medical check-up. I went to the hospital in my friend’s car,” said Ben.
He said that he was in fear for his life during the beating.
“I was bleeding profusely from my nose, my head was swollen and I have bruises all over my body.”
He claimed that after the incident, the senior prison officer through the police inspector on duty asked him whether he was willing to resolve the matter amicably.
“There were many eye-witnesses around at that time who can always testify to the assault,” said his father.
He is outraged by the failure of the police personnel who arrived at the scene upon receiving of a distress call made by one of his son’s friends, to act immediately.
“I was made to understand that they failed to stop the beating upon arriving at the scene, until the assailants dragged my son out of the store. They didn’t even detain those involved for investigation.
“The police should conduct their investigation professionally, without fear or favour as, it is their duty and responsibility to maintain law and order, and to protect law-abiding citizens.
“What I want is justice, so that the same incident will not happen to other innocent people out there,” he said.
“No parents should have to bear watching the manner my son was beaten by his assailants, it was so brutal and senseless, as if my son is a notorious criminal,” he said.

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