New firearms code: Officers must issue warning before shooting

Mohamad-Apandi-Ali-firePUTRAJAYA: Nine months after a female Customs officer died when the car she was in was rammed by ‘tonto’ (touts) in Pasir Mas, the government today unveiled updated guidelines on the use of firearms.

Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi Ali said this was an innovative standard operating procedure (SOP).

“The previous SOP was only on safekeeping of firearms and so there were no clear guidelines on how and when to use it by the enforcement agencies,” he told reporters after hosting a Hari Raya gathering at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) premises here.

The new guidelines came about after Apandi visited the family of Customs officer Anisah Ali and spoke to top Customs officials about the SOP for the use of firearms by enforcement officers.

Apandi said the guidelines, which came into effect today, were drawn up in accordance with the law.

“It is better for them to follow, otherwise they can be charged even though they are licensed to carry firearms,” he said.

Apandi said a law enforcement officer must give a warning first before actually firing at a person.

“They can use it only when their life is in danger, and that must be their consideration,” he added.

On Oct 7 last year, Anisah was said to have been on duty with two male colleagues at Kampung Banggol in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, when a car carrying the tonto sandwiched and rammed the back of their car which caused it to skid and hit a tree.

She died two days later at a government hospital in Kota Baru, due to internal injuries and intestinal complications.

Earlier, after launching the guidelines, Apandi presented copies of the SOP to representatives of law enforcement agencies, which included the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Apandi said the drafting of the guidelines by a special team from the prosecution division in the AGC started last December.

He said the need to have updated guidelines came about after he visited the victim’s family.

“I had then asked the Kelantan Customs director to produce the existing guidelines. After going through, I found out the manual was all about safekeeping of firearms only,” he added.