|Wednesday, 03 October 2012 11:00|
PETALING JAYA: Two armed bodyguards of a businessman stood by and watched a woman fall victim to four robbers in broad daylight - all because the law prohibits them from firing even a warning shot.
The bodyguards, who declined to be identified, produced a handbook from the Home Ministry that refrains them from drawing their weapon to their livid employer who witnessed the incident and questioned their inaction.
Their stand was in stark contrast to the incident in Jasin, Malacca on Sept 9, where PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's bodyguard brandished his weapon at a group of people who threw rocks and paint after they blocked the bus they were in.
Questions have been raised if Anwar's bodyguard was within the law to draw his weapon under such circumstances. Police are still investigating the matter.
Following yesterday's 3pm snatch theft at Jalan 6/1 here, one of the bodyguards in his 30s told The Malay Mail, "Firing a warning shot would have scared off the robbers and I do wish I could do that. But I am not allowed to do so unless my employer or his family is directly involved."
His colleague said, "We can only draw the weapon if someone is about to attack my employer and is at close range. Taking out my weapon in public is already an offence, what more firing a warning shot. I can have my firearm licence revoked for both offences."
Their employer, a businessman who requested anonymity, said the regulations on gun use governing minders was not practical in fighting crime.
"Armed bodyguards should be allowed to fire a warning shot during such incidents. They are trained to handle firearms and since the police are short-handed, they could be used to prevent crime," the businessman said.
He said the snatch theft occurred outside his bungalow, and "I feel I let the woman down with my bodyguards not going to her aid."
The woman in her 30s was dropping off her 10-year-old son opposite the businessman's home for tuition when the hoodlums struck.
Four men on two motorcycles approached the victim as she was about to get out of her car. One of them grabbed the victim's chain while an accomplice waved a parang. The other two on a motorcycle waited by the roadside.
The businessman and his bodygyuards were roused by the woman's scream for help.
"That's when I started shouting at my bodyguards to fire a warning shot, just to scare the robbers, but they just stood there. My servants went in pursuit of them but they sped off," he said.
He said he only learnt of the restrictions on gun use by his bodyguards when they showed him the handbook.
"As it stands they can only draw their weapons when there is danger to me, my immediate family members or my property."
"There is no point blaming my bodyguards when the laws are such," he said.
- The Malay Mail