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Saturday, 2 January 2016 | MYT 12:00 AM

Heated debate online over death of robber

PETALING JAYA: Mohamad Zulkifli Ismail, 50, was with his wife at their food stall in Kerteh, Terengganu, when two men rode past on a motorcycle on Dec 7.

According to Zulkifli, the men looked suspicious and were heading towards their house.

Zulkifli decided to follow them on his motorcycle and when he arrived home, he saw one of the men trying to lift his generator while the other was on the motorcycle.

When the two realised he was there, the man on the motorcycle lunged towards him carrying an object.

“Zulkifli was not sure what the man was carrying. He (Zulkifli) picked up a golok (small parang) and allegedly stabbed the man,” said “Selamatkan Zulkifli” (Save Zulkifli) campaigner Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul.

“The second person then ran towards him and Zulkifli also allegedly stabbed him.

“The first man tried to get away on the motorcycle while the second ran across the road but collapsed and died on the road shoulder.”

Nik Aziz made it clear that this was Zulkifli’s version of events and that he had not seen the police account of what had transpired.

Zulkifli was charged with murder on Sunday, a charge that has raised a stink on social media, with many claiming that he had only been acting in self-defence.

He is now in custody pending the court hearing later this month.

Nik Aziz is spearheading a social media campaign to get Zulkifli off the hook or to be hit with a lesser charge.

The campaigners claim that Zulkifli now faces the death sentence if found guilty and that it was unfair that he be punished so severely for defending his property.

A heated debate is ongoing on social media, with a large number saying Zulkifli should be spared.

A Tan Sri tycoon, who was in a similar situation, agreed that the charge would be unfair if the accused was merely defending himself from being hurt.

However, it would be a different scenario if the robber was unarmed, he added.

Former Federal Court judge Justice S. Augustine Paul had also ruled that an act of self-defence should not be punished.

In the case of lawyer Datuk Balwant Singh, who was charged with murdering a despatch rider, the then High Court judge said Balwant’s intention was to incapacitate or maim the deceased but unfortunately the shot killed him.

“But it must be observed that the deceased was armed with only a stick while the accused was armed with a gun which is a lethal weapon and that the injuries that he had sustained were of a minor nature.

“However, the stick was not an ordinary twig.

“It was a thick branch and more than four feet in length. It is big enough to cause a person’s skull or bones to crack if hit with it,” he added.