Jealous partner beats woman to death

KUALA LUMPUR — A jealousy-enraged electrician murdered his live-in partner at their rented unit at the Jinjang Baru flats in Taman
Jinjang yesterday.

Police said the 36-year-old suspect had killed his partner, also aged 36, because he believed she was having an affair.

Sentul police chief R. Munusamy said police received a call in the morning about an alleged attempted suicide at the unit, located on the second floor.

“Police found the suspect with cuts on his left wrist. The victim was sprawled in the living room with bruises on her face and hands,” he said.

The suspect told police he had beat his partner to death 12 hours earlier.

Initial investigations revealed the victim, who worked as a beer promoter at a nearby pub, had refused to return home on Thursday night to care for the couple’s four-year-old daughter.

This enraged the suspect, who then assaulted the victim. The suspect then dropped his daughter at the victim’s father’s home in Rawang and told him his daughter was dead.

“The suspect and victim were staying together for five years but were not married and had been living at the unit for a month,” Munusamy said.

“We only know her as Ah Mei. She and her partner often fought a lot, especially at night. I believe it was about her job,” said a neighbour who requested anonymity.

“The man was fierce, judging by the way he used to shout at her.”

Another neighbour who stayed on the same floor said she last heard the couple arguing on Saturday night.

“I’ve heard them arguing ever since they moved in. I’m unsure if they were just arguing or there was physical violence.”

She said the couple’s daughter hardly mixed with the other children in the neighbourhood.

The suspect, who is receiving treatment at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, has been remanded until next Thursday. The victim’s remains was sent to the same hospital for post-mortem.

Pakistani Facebook starlet strangled 
in suspected honour killing

LAHORE — A Pakistani social media celebrity whose selfies polarised the deeply conservative Muslim country has been murdered by her brother in a suspected honour killing, prompting shock and revulsion.

Qandeel Baloch, held in high regard by many of the country’s youth for her willingness to break social taboo, but condemned and reviled by traditional elements, was strangled near the city of Multan, police said.

“Apparently, it was an incident of honour killing,” said Sultan Azam, a senior police officer in Multan.

Baloch, believed to be in her 20s, had travelled with her family from the city of Karachi to Muzzafarabad village in central Punjab province for the recent Hari Raya holidays.

Police were informed by her family she was murdered on Friday night.

“The family told us he strangled her,” said Azhar Akram, another Multan senior police official. Police said the brother was now on the run.

Hundreds of women are murdered, often by relatives, for “honour” every year in Pakistan.

The killers often walk free because of a law which allows relatives of the victim to forgive the murderer.

Baloch shot to fame in Pakistan in 2014 after a video of her pouting at the camera and asking “How em looking?” went viral.

Baloch, who posed with mullahs and courted controversy with selfies in plunging dresses, was also reviled by many and frequently subjected to misogynist abuse online.

She had reportedly spoke of leaving the country after Hari Raya out of fear for her safety.

Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, whose documentary on the subject, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness won an Oscar earlier this year, said the murder would make women feel less safe.

“I really feel no woman is safe in this country until we start making examples of people, until we start sending men who kill women to jail, unless we literally say there will be no more killing and those who dare will spend the rest of their lives behind bars,” he said.

Obaid-Chinoy’s film was lauded by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who in February vowed to push through anti-honour killing legislation.

No action has been taken since then, despite a fresh wave of attacks on women recently that have been roundly and loudly condemned by activists.

“Not only does the bill need to go through but the cases of honour killings all need to be expedited and we start sending people to jail,” Obaid-Chinoy said.

“Activists have screamed themselves hoarse. When will it stop?” — AFP

IN BRIEF

Man taking photos of police HQ was telco contractor

PETALING JAYA — A man who was arrested for taking photographs of the Putrajaya police headquarters on Wednesday was later found to be merely a contractor surveying phone signals in the area. Putrajaya district police chief ACP Rosly Hassan said the 27-year-old was released on police bail yesterday after he was remanded for four days. “He told police he was taking photographs of the headquarters for work purposes. There was no malicious intent as he was measuring the frequency and the strength of phone signals in the area and had taken photos for record purposes,” he said. Rosly said the contractor worked for a company that was serving a telecommunications company. His company was tasked with monitoring the signal strength at various locations. Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh had said on Friday the man was detained as a precaution following threats by Islamic State militants who had planned attacks on top police officers and police headquarters nationwide. The man, who is from Felda Sungai Koyan in Pahang, was seen taking photographs of the entrance and surroundings of the district headquarters on Wednesday before being arrested.

Cops explore ‘hired gun’ angle in murder probe

GEORGE TOWN — Investigators will carry out ballistics tests on the gun seized from slain murderer Chung Chun Wah, to establish if it had been used in previous shootings. “We know it was used in the fatal shooting of four people at a chicken processing factory in Batu Maung,” a source said. “He could have been a hired gunman or even loaned the pistol to others.” Two cases police were looking at was that of car wash owner Syed Amin Jainul Abidin, 46, who was fatally shot in Jalan Datuk Keramat on Feb 11 and that of a 21-year-old video arcade helper who was shot at several times early this year. On Thursday, Chung was killed following a shoot out with police near the Air Hitam market following a manhunt which lasted almost 40 hours. The Malaysian Jockeys Welfare Association and JR Gallop Horseracing Club said it would organise a fundraiser for one of the four killed, Chung’s brother Wah Thong, who was a jockey. Wah Thong has been riding since 2009 and he had won the Sultan Gold Vase Cup in 2013 in Perak and the Selangor Gold Cup Group One championship race last year.

Government to ensure justice prevails, says Liow

PUTRAJAYA — Malaysia hopes to receive the preliminary conclusion on the forensic research report of MH17, that went down in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014, by the end of the year.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the investigation report by the Joint Investigation Team — comprising Australia, Brazil, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine — would also confirm the type of weapon used to shoot the plane and other pertinent details.

He said the government hoped the international community would continue to lend its support in ensuring the perpetrators of this tragedy be held accountable for their action.

“Two years ago, 298 lives were lost in a senseless and unjust crime that saw the downing of flight MH17,” he said in a statement yesterday, in conjunction with the MH17 second anniversary today.

Liow said: “As we mark the second year anniversary of the MH17 tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with the next-of-kin of the victims.

“Rest assured, the government will not give up in our quest to ensure justice prevails”. — Bernama

Families still waiting for answers

IPOH — “After all this time, I still miss you every day …”

That is what Norlin Mohd Nor said when reminiscing the loss of her elder sibling Nor Rahimmah.

After two years of her sudden tragic death, Norlin still cannot bring herself to look at photographs of her sister.

Nor Rahimmah was one of the 298 passengers on board the ill-fated MH17 that was shot down as the aircraft flew over Ukraine airspace on July 17, 2014.

“Her pictures evoke painful memories. But what hurts deeper are the many unanswered questions,” the 49-year-old pre-school teacher told Sunday Mail.

To ease her grief, Norlin, a mother of three, said she had to take down all the pictures of her sister that were put on the wall of their family home.

“It’s simply too painful to see the photographs. They make me visualise the circumstances of the crash in my mind,” she said in Kampung Rizab Melayu, Tambun.

“Every day we ask the same questions … who, why, how did this happen. But we don’t know,” she said.

To further aggravate her grief, Norlin lost her huband in April. He had been her a pillar of strength until he was diagnosed with cancer.

Being the youngest, Norlin was fortunate to be Nor Rahimmah’s favourite.

“She used to feed me and stroke my hair as I fell asleep at night when we were young.”

Since the tragic incident, Norlin has developed a fear of flying.

“Even Hari Raya has not been the same as we would look forward to her phoning us from abroad.

“She wanted to get a feel of the atmosphere at home. She would call and ask what we were cooking and what we were preparing.

“Before the plane crash, she had called me from Amsterdam asking for ulam so she could have it when she buka puasa.

“To this day, when I eat ulam I still remember her.”

And when the family gathers every Aidilfitri, Norlin says the conversation will inevitably shift towards her sister and the events of the tragic day.

“We will wait, no matter how long and how painful it is … I just want to know the answer before I close my eyes for the final time.”

For former nurse, Wan Aini Wan Hussain, she continues to cherish the memory of her brother flight pilot, Capt Wan Amran. She plans to publish a book dedicated to him.

“There were tributes, prayers offered … but I want him to be remembered and that’s why I took to writing,” Wan Aini, 63, said in Kuala Kangsar.

“It took about three months to write. It’s about his life, how much he cared for the family and how exceptional he was to those who knew him.”

Wan Amran, she said, was a modest man who may not have liked the idea of having a book written in his honour.

However, she said the family agreed his story should be published.

Wan Amran’s wife, Mariyam, and their children are still deeply affected by his death.

Sharifah Asma Syed Alwi Al Junied, still thinks of her husband, first officer Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi, who was among the 15 Malaysia Airline crew members to perish. But she knows life must go on.

Ahmad Hakimi was one of the 298 onboard the Boeing 777.

Speaking to Bernama recently, she said it had been two years since the incident and realised the need to reclaim her life for her own future and that of her son, Abderrahman, who will turn three in October.

She said following her husband’s absence, Abderrahman became attached with her father-in-law, Dr Hanapi Mohd Noor, 68.

However, Dr Hanapi died last Thursday due to cancer of the gallbladder.

“It saddens me that my father-in-law is also gone now,” she added.

“I cannot afford to be down all the time for the sake of my son, in-laws and everyone.

“I want to be strong so that people can see I have moved on.”

She said she is pretty much settled now.

“I have a full-time job in the Human Resource Department at the United Nations office,” she said.

Pain lingers

TODAY marks the second anniversary of the MH17 crash. The tragedy took the lives of 283 passengers and 15 cabin crew. The plane, a Boeing 777-200ER, was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 when it was shot down in Ukraine by a Russian-made BUK missile. Malaysia subsequently declared Aug 22 as a day of national mourning for the victims. Two years on, family members of the deceased are still seeking justice and closure.

IS claims Nice massacre as 50 fight for their lives

NICE — The Islamic State claimed responsibility yesterday for an attack in which a Tunisian drove a truck through a crowd in Nice, killing 84 and leaving at least 50 fighting for their lives, prompting hard questions in France over security failures.

In a statement through Amaq news service, IS said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack on Thursday night “in response to calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (IS)”.

Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, smashed a 19-tonne truck into crowd in the Riviera city who were celebrating Bastille Day — France’s national day. Police said he had no known connection to militant groups.

French President Francois Hollande met with his defence and security chiefs and cabinet ministers as criticism from the opposition and media mounted over security failings after the third major attack in France in 18 months.

“If we are at war, as the government tells us, then the currency of war is intelligence, learning from experience, analysing failures and victories,” wrote Yann Marec in an editorial for the southern region’s Midi Libre newspaper.

He was one of several calling for action, and not merely “the same old solemn declarations” from the government, as Le Figaro daily said.

Some 30,000 people had thronged the palm tree-lined Promenade des Anglais on Thursday night to watch a fireworks display with their friends and families, but the night turned to horror as the truck left mangled bodies strewn in its wake.

Hollande said the country would observe three days of mourning as he warned the death toll could rise further, with more than 50 still fighting for their lives.

Four more people linked to Mohamed have been arrested. The driver’s estranged wife is also being held by police.

IS also claimed responsibility for Nov 13 attacks in which 130 people were killed in Paris, while gunmen in January 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo weekly and a Jewish supermarket were linked to both IS and Al-Qaeda.

The massacre has once again shaken France to its core, prompting questions about the effectiveness of security measures with the country already under an eight month-long state of emergency.

Presidential contender and former prime minister Alain Juppe said the latest carnage could have been prevented if “all measures” had been taken.

But government spokesman Stephane Le Foll slammed Juppe’s comments, saying there was as much security present for the fireworks display as there had been for the Euro 2016.

He said there were more than 185 police, gendarmes and soldiers on the ground, as well as municipal police and a vast network of surveillance cameras.

“Despite all of that, this man’s decisions … created the drama and horror we experienced.”

A French parliamentary inquiry last week criticised numerous failings by the intelligence services over the Paris attacks.

“We know of course that there are still flaws and shortcomings,” said Hollande.

“Government intervention is imperative in that area in order to better coordinate our intelligence services,” he added.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said the attack was “exactly in line with” calls from groups for supporters to kill in their home countries.

For several years, extremist groups such as IS and Al-Qaeda have exhorted followers to strike “infidels” — singling out France on several occasions — using whatever means they have to hand.

In September 2014, IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, suggested supporters “run (infidels) over with your car”.

While some attacks on the West — such as the November assault on Paris and the March bombings in Brussels — were carried out by those who have been to the centre of IS operations in Iraq and Syria, others have been led by so-called “lone-wolf” attackers.

In Nice, the seaside streets that would normally be bustling on a summer weekend were near-deserted, with teary residents making their way to the promenade to lay flowers in memory of the dead.

At least 10 children and teenagers were among the dead as well as tourists from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland and Germany.

A five-day jazz festival in Nice has been canceled following the incident.

The festival, which had lined up acts such as Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour and British act Massive Attack, was scheduled to run from July 16
until 20. — Agencies

Horror driver suffered from depression, says father

NICE — The driver of a truck who killed scores of people on the Nice seafront was a Tunisian petty criminal described by his father as a violent depressive and by neighbours as a loner.

Investigators were yesterday piecing together a picture of the 31-year-old father of three who slammed into crowds who had been watching a Bastille Day fireworks display, killing 84.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins identified him as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, “a delivery man, of Tunisian nationality, married and with children” adding he had a criminal record but no known terrorist connection.

His identity papers and a bank card were found in the truck and his identity had been confirmed by fingerprints, he said.

Mohamed was shot dead by police at the wheel of the 19-tonne lorry.

Speaking outside his home in Msaken, eastern Tunisia, the attacker’s father said he had suffered from depression and had “no links” to religion.

“From 2002 to 2004, he had problems that caused a nervous breakdown. He would become angry and he shouted … he would break anything he saw in front of him,” Mohamed Mondher Lahouaiej-Bouhlel said.

“We are also shocked,” he said, adding he had not seen his son since he left for France but was not entirely sure when this was.

And as forensic scientists, backed by armed police, searched his apartment in a four-storey block in a working-class neighbourhood of Nice, neighbours said they had little to do with him.

They portrayed him as a solitary figure who rarely spoke and did not even return greetings when their paths crossed.

Sebastien, a neighbour who spoke on condition his full name was not used, said Mohamed did not seem overtly religious and often dressed in shorts.

Only one neighbour said she had any concerns about him, describing him as “a good-looking man who kept giving my two daughters the eye”.

He was often seen drinking beer and never attended the small mosque near his home, other residents of his home district said.

“I never saw him at the mosque,” said a caretaker of an apartment building.

Molins said although Mohamed had never been investigated by the security services, he was known to police.

“He had a police and judicial record for threats, violence, theft and acts of criminal damage between 2010 and this year. He had been sentenced by the Nice criminal court to a six-month term, suspended, on March 24 for violence with arms, committed in January.

“On the other hand, he was totally unknown to intelligence services, nationally and locally, and was never flagged for signs of radicalisation,” he said.

Mohamed’s wife was brought in for questioning yesterday morning, Molins said.

Neighbours said the couple had three children, including a baby, but were separated.

One resident of the apartment block where the family had lived until 18 months ago before they split up said Mohamed was a violent man who had an extreme reaction to his wife’s request for a divorce.

“His wife had asked for a divorce after a violent argument,” said the man, who also asked not to be identified.

“He defecated everywhere, he cut up his daughter’s teddy bear and slashed the mattress.

“I don’t think there was a radicalisation issue, I think there was psychiatric problem,” he said. — AFP

Govt app sends warning 
3 hours late

PARIS — A mobile application, launched last month by the French government to alert users to attacks, failed to flash a warning until more than three hours after a truck rammed into crowds in the Riviera city of Nice on Bastille Day, the Interior Ministry said.

The app, called SAIP, was launched by the ministry just before the Euro 2016 and was supposed to flash a warning on a user’s mobile phone screen if there was an attack close to their location or suspicion of an imminent strike.

The app did not send its first notification until 1.34am local time, more than three hours after a 31-year Tunisian drove down the Promenade des Anglais seaside boulevard, killing 84 and injuring scores more.

“Information related to the attack in Nice on July 14 was sent out much too late by the app,” the ministry said in a statement, adding the app’s designers had been summoned to a crisis meeting on Friday afternoon.

“An action plan has been demanded without delay so that such an incident cannot happen again,” the ministry said.

The message prepared by the local prefecture was ready to go at about 11.15pm, but a technical glitch prevented the app designed by French company Deveryware to send out the warning, Les Echos newspaper said, citing government sources.

Deveryware did not immediately return a request for comment.

Nice-based Twitter user Nathan Lellouche, who posted a picture of the app showing a “no incident ongoing” message the night of the attack, tweeted: “This app had one job and it doesn’t even do it.”
— Reuters

Five children fighting for life

NICE — Five children are fighting for their lives after the truck attack in Nice, including an unidentified eight-year-old boy who is possibly a foreigner, a hospital spokesman said.

The children were being treated at the Fondation Lenval paediatric hospital, following the deadly massacre in the French Riviera city, which killed 84.

Ten children and teenagers were among the dead.

Lenval spokesman Stephanie Simpson said “five children are still in critical condition and one child has stabilised”, adding the hospital had received 30 children the night of the attack.

She said the youngest to be treated was six months old, with most of the children being treated for head trauma and fractures.

“We are used to treating lots of children, what has been difficult to manage is the psychological aspect,” Simpson said.

A team of trauma counsellors has been working at the hospital, seeing over 50 families since the attack.

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