LAST_UPDATETue, 15 May 2018 11am

Greed Kills: Past Mass Murder Cases in Malaysia

In the past few weeks, Malaysians have been engrossed by the slaying of a self-made cosmetics mogul, Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya whose remains were disposed of on a poultry farm owned by two lawyer brothers with an alleged history of shady land deals. Sosilawati, her driver Kamarudin Shamsuddin, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim and bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad went missing end of August. Police later announced that all four were probably murdered, their bodies burned and the ashes discarded in streams near the lawyers' property. The case then exploded into a full-scale media sensation.


This is not the first gruesome and bizarre murder case in Malaysian history. In July 1993, Batu Talam state assemblyman Datuk Mazlan Idris went missing after approaching Maznah Ismail, also famously known as Mona Fandey, and her husband Mohd Affandi Abdul Rahman for supernatural help to boost his political career. He was persuaded by the couple to take part in a ritual in which he was to lay on the floor with his eyes closed waiting for the money to "fall from the sky." No money fell; instead it was the blade of an axe.

Mazlan was decapitated and then dismembered and partially skinned. His body was found cut up into 18 parts and buried in a hole near Mona's home in the state of Pahang. Mazlan was reported missing on July 2 1993 after he had withdrawn RM30,000 from a Kuala Lumpur bank. The day after the killing, Mona went on a shopping spree in Kuala Lumpur, and later bought herself a Mercedes-Benz and had a facelift. When questioned, Mona’s assistant Juraimi Hussin made a statement to the police which led to the discovery of Mazlan's remains. Unsurprisingly, Mona and husband immediately became the prime suspects.

It was revealed later that Mona Fandey and gang were responsible for the killing of a few other individuals prior to the murder of Mazlan. Most of them were her clients. The crime itself, like the Sosilawati murder case, seemed to have been committed entirely out of greed. In Mona's case it was her impatience to spend their ill-gotten gains that resulted in them being easily detected by the authority.

In the Banting murder case, it was the simultaneous murder of all four victims and the high profile nature of the cosmetic queen that resulted in the arrest of the two main suspects. Former Police Forensic Lab Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) chief Amidon Adnan in an interview with New Straits Times listed the top four types of murder methods in Malaysia. According to Amidon, in most cases of serial killings, the weapons used are sharp ones such as knives, machetes, screwdrivers or iron rods.

The second most popular method of murder is by suffocation, where the victim is tied up and masking tape is used on the mouth and nose. The third is by butchering or slitting the throats of the victims. The attacker would slit the throat of the victim with a knife until it severs the Adam’s apple or until it reaches the neck bone. The fourth method is by burning the victim alive, either when he or she is unconscious or conscious, usually in a car. Amidon said there were cases where the murders were well planned and executed.

A good example of these cases was the case in which a man was chopped into eleven parts and stuffed into a refrigerator at a posh condominium in Mont Kiara. Although the victim’s wife admitted to murdering her husband, she was never charged due to lack of evidence as the home was wiped clean of any evidence.

Other examples of mass murders being committed in Malaysia in the past are in September 16, 1993 when two men walked into a house in Sungai Petani, Kedah, and began firing their guns into a crowd at a pre-wedding dinner. The groom-to-be escaped unhurt but six people, including his brother, were killed. The motif of the assault is still unknown. In July 2001, Md Masud Rana Md Mofizuddin from Bangladesh killed a woman and six of her family members. The murders were, as the court heard, caused by spurned love and loss of RM27,000. Masud Rana was said to have entrusted Vasagi Balakrishnan with the money for safekeeping but the woman had used it to buy a house with her new boyfriend. As a result Masud then slit Vasagi’s throat and those of her mother, aunt, uncle, grandmother and granduncle. Six years later, Masud Rana was sentenced to death while a friend, who was charged with him, was acquitted as there was no evidence to place him at the crime scene.

According to Wikipedia, mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people (four or more), typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. Wikipedia also says that mass murder may be committed by individuals or organizations. Crimes of this sort may also be defined as the intentional and indiscriminate murder of a large number of people by government agents. Examples include the shooting of unarmed protestors, the carpet bombing of cities, the lobbing of grenades into prison cells and the random execution of civilians.

The term may also refer to spree killers, who stage a single assault on their victims, or serial killers, who may kill large numbers of people over long periods of time. The largest mass killings in history have been attempts to exterminate entire groups or communities of people, often on the basis of ethnicity or religion. Some of these mass murders have been found to be genocides and others to be crimes against humanity, but often such crimes have led to few or no convictions of any type.


Most of the mass murder cases in this country were motivated by money and greed, victims being cheated with their money that ended with a bloody conclusion. As opposed to the infamous quotation from the fictitious Michael Douglas character Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, which is “Greed is Good”, in the mass murder cases in Malaysia, the right phrase would be “Greed Kills”.


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