Hisham won’t let UPNM wash its hands of student’s death

Hishammuddin-Hussein_Zulfarhan_upnm_600

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says his ministry is looking into the need to review the present system at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) after the death of its student Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain.

He said a review of the system would ensure that such an incident did not happen again, and that Zulfarhan’s death was not in vain.

“I’m serious. I want to see UPNM and our naval training academy take responsibility (for Zulfarhan’s death).

“We have to look into the need to review UPNM’s system.

“They (UPNM) can’t wash their hands of this case, and the student’s death won’t be in vain,” he told a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

When asked to elaborate which aspect of the university’s system would come under review, Hishammuddin said he would wait for the university to conduct its internal investigation first and inform him of its findings.

“I will let the public know once it (the review) has been decided.”

Zulfarhan, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after being assaulted and tortured by a group of students.

It has been alleged that he was bound and beaten because of a dispute over a laptop and reportedly tortured with a belt, rubber hose, iron and hanger.

On June 14, five of the students were charged with murder and another for abetting them.

On a separate matter, Hishammuddin said the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) was not considering using other aircraft after a Hawk 108 crashed earlier this week.

He said most RMAF officers were of the opinion that the jet fighter could still do its job and hence there was no need to consider other aircraft.

“But we have to investigate this incident, which means we have to probe the crash of the aircraft.”

In the incident, a jet fighter, which took off from the RMAF base in Kuantan, crashed in a swamp forest in Chukai, Terengganu, killing both pilots.