Monday, February 16, 2004

Closed But Not Over

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the proposal to set up the Police Commission when opening a conference for senior police officers on Dec 29 last year.

The members of the commission was name on 4th February 2004. The commission will study and recommend measures to be taken to make the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) a credible peacekeeping and law enforcement force in the 21st century.

While the public welcome the commission which would help to bring back integerity for the police, some were still practising the old tricks. More confusions have been created when the police announce the murder of Datuk Norjan Khan Bahadar, closed.

On 11 February 2004 Sabah Assistant Minister of Rural and Entrepreneurial Development Datuk Norjan Khan Bahadar was found dead in room 208 of Hotel Shangrila at Bandaran Berjaya, Kota Kinabalu, .

Kota Kinabalu City Police Chief ACP Hamdan Mohamad said Norjan, 52, a nominated assemblywoman and Papar Wanita Umno Chief, was found lying fully clad on the floor by her bedside at the hotel room at about 9am.

There were injuries on Norjan's neck and face but police were still investigating whether the injuries had caused her death. There were small stab wounds but the police was not certain how many stabs.

The police had ruled out robbery as there were no sign of her valuables missing and her hand bag was still intact. He said investigations showed that there was no forced entry into the hotel room which is on the second floor of the hotel.

Initial investigations also revealed that there were bloodstains on her bed as well as on her face but the overall condition of the room, which was registered under her name, was tidy.

The police said investigation would cover all aspects including jealousy as the motive.

Norjan checked in at the hotel at about 7.30pm Tuesday along with two woman-aides who took a room next door.

Less than 48 hours after the murder, the police said they have arrested the prime suspect, Shamsudin Bistami, a Bugis illegal immigrant going by the false identity of Azman Bakar @ Loying. He was arrested at a kampung house along Mile 2, off Jalan Apas in Tawau.

He was said to have admitted committing the crime by using an ice pick. Police also recovered some valuables, a wrist watch, RM1,450 and two mobile phones, of which one was believed belonged to Norjan, from the 27-year-old.

The police reclassified as robbery-cum-murder.

Investigations revealed that the suspect had, at 4.13am Wednesday, sent a pot of milk to Norjan’s room on her request. Some minutes later he again went to the room to return RM2 change and a pot of hot water.

Police believed it was at that time that Shamsudin attacked Norjan with a sharp metal weapon, similar to an ice pick, and stabbed her several times on her face. Police, however, have yet to find the murder weapon.

After going off duty at 7am, the suspect was believed to have gone to the hotel’s staff living quarters before proceeding to check into a hotel in the city at around 8am where he stayed till the next day.

From there, he went to Tuaran at around 5pm where he checked into another hotel, staying until noon Thursday, before paying a private taxi RM500 to take him to Tawau where he arrived at around 8.30pm the same day.

Police believed that Shamsudin was preparing to flee to Indonesia, using his relative’s home, as a halfway house.

The case might be considered closed by the police, but not for the public. They have the following questions to ask:

1. Why did Norjan checked in to a hotel which is only a few kilometers away from her house?

2. Why Norjan has to leave her aide in order to entertain a Pakistani man who was having problem with his identity card, at almost mid night, and in her room?

3. Why Police initially ruled out robbery and denied any lost of valuable but re-classified it within 24 hours?

4. Why did the Police first mentioned it was due to jealousy and revenge as the motive but denied it later on?

5. What were the hidden stories that made the police to conclude that they believe Norjan was not robbed but was murdered because of jealousy and revenge?

6. Why would a murderer take such a long time before fleeing for Indonesia?

7. If there were no lost of valuables from Norjan when her body was first discovered, how did the cash, handphone and other belongings found their way to the prime suspect?

8. Has the police police actually revealed the whole truth?

The Police Commission must as well take the murder case of Norjan as a start and study how the Sabah changed their findings overnight.

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