Police car crash victim speaks out

By Kow Gah Chie | May 2, 2012

Coming out to admit that he is one of the four Bersih 3.0 rally protesters a police car crashed into outside the Sogo shopping complex on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman last Saturday, Su Kuang Hong said he was doing so to clear the air on the matter.

He was coming forward, Su said, because of the efforts by the police to paint the crowd as an angry mob of rioters and to refute the inspector-general of police (IGP) Ismail Omar’s statement that there was no one pinned underneath the police car after the crash.

“I was hit by a Proton Waja police car,” said Su, 25, who is warded at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

He claimed he was hit at the back and the impact threw him on to the bonnet of the car, which continued to move and its sudden stop soon after sent him crashing against a wall in front of Sogo.

As a result, Su obtained at least five injuries – on his forehead, jaw, wrist and thigh.

Su works as a service engineer with a government-linked company and is the first victim of the crash to speak up.

In an interview with Malaysiakini yesterday, Su said he lodged two police reports earlier yesterday.

He said the police officer who attended to him said he was the third complainant to lodge a report on the incident.

“I lodged the report because I want to be a piece of the puzzle so that the truth can be uncovered, and I need a record to claim my medical expenses,” Su said.

Trapped in a coffee shop for an hour

Su said he had an expensive medical bill, totalling RM6,789, because he needed treatment at a private hospital as well, with experts to ascertain if he had suffered internal injuries.

Su comes from a big family and he said on the rally day, he and 21 of his relatives went to Kuala Lumpur for the rally. Some of his relatives even flew back from Sabah and as far as China to take part in Bersih 3.0.

He said this was the first time he was taking part in a public protest because he wanted to see clean and fair elections held in the country.

Su and his relatives arrived at the city centre in the morning, and it was all over for them by 3pm and they went to have a drink at a coffee shop at Wisma Bandar on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

“Then came the attack, the coffee shop operator acted fast and closed the main door… and we saw from inside how the police arrested protesters,” he said.

“Tear gas filtered into the coffee shop. It was hot and we had to struggle to breathe… our faces and eyes were burning from the chemicals,” he said, adding that he spent one long and painful hour in the shop.

Su and his friends got back to the street to go home at around 4pm and he started looking for his other relatives who could not join them inside the coffee shop before the doors were closed.

“We went back to the Bandaraya LRT station, but it was closed, and we came under siege again, with the tear gas attacks coming from both sides,” he said.

Su said he was contacting his cousin with his mobile phone, while standing with the crowd in the middle of the closed road, when he saw a car driven towards them.

Saw the driver, but he seemed conscious

“I saw the police Proton Waja coming towards me (from the direction of Pertama Complex) and I ran towards Sogo to avoid being hit, but the car too headed the same way and I was hit,” Su said.

He was in great pain and felt dizzy after the crash, but was still conscious.

When he was taken into an ambulance van for treatment, he saw a police officer in uniform already inside and suspected he was the driver of the police car.

Some protesters, he said, opened the ambulance door and shouted angry words at the officer. A few blamed him, saying, “Itu sebab you… ada orang cedera (because of you, some people are injured).

“I was feeling physically hurt, but I felt no anger towards the police officer,” Su said.

Su noted the police officer moved agilely when asked by ambulance staff to move further into the vehicle, as the ambulance needed to fit in another wounded man on a stretcher.

The police officer who drove the Proton Waja that day, Mohamad Kamil Paimin, told the media that he had passed out, resulting in the crash, and be recovered consciousness only after receiving treatment at the hospital.

Su also showed two video clips that have been posted online after the incident with his laptop, and pointed to a man wearing a white shirt.

“That guy in white shirt, with both legs pointed to the sky, is me,” he said, pointing to the screen.

The video clip, titled “Kejadian sebenar Polis langgar 4 peserta BERSIH 3.0 depan SOGO (Real truth of police hitting 4 Bersih participants in front Sogo)”, is a one-minute clip showing the police car plunging into the crowd.

Another seven-minute clip titled “Insiden kereta polis langgar peserta Bersih (Incident of police car hitting Bersih participants)”, offers a more complete picture of the scene.

Police not entirely to be blamed

Su said the crash wasn’t entirely the police car driver’s fault for he had spotted something hit the man while he was driving.

He is also unhappy with the scene showing a few protesters attacking the police officer, saying it should have been a peaceful rally.

Asked about IGP Ismail’s denial that the police car hit protesters, Su said this was nothing unusual and from what he usually reads in news, the country’s leaders tend to distort the facts.

Su admitted he hesitated to lodge a police report and to speak up for fear losing his job. He only decided to do so on Monday.

“I am still under the six months’ probation… my company offers good welfare benefits, a five-day work week, 22 days of annual leave and insurance coverage,” he said.

“The company also partially subsidises interests on house and car loans taken by employees,” Su said.

Asked what would happen if the company sacked him, Su quipped, “Possibly I may have to look at joining politics.”

  1. #1 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Wednesday, 2 May 2012 - 4:11 pm

    GLC would boot him for sure.

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