Car of a ‘Datuk Seri’ blown up by bomb

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — A luxury car owned by a wealthy 'Datuk Seri' was blown up by a bomb mid-journey on Monday night while he and his driver were in it, police have confirmed, adding another incident to the country’s growing crime list.

In the 8.45pm incident, the Datuk Seri, a former Emergency Ordinance (EO) detainee who owns a string of restaurants and nightclubs in the city, and his driver were driving by Taman Taynton View in Cheras when the bomb detonated.

The explosive was reportedly strapped below the Jaguar and ripped through the vehicle to the boot when it exploded but both occupants of the vehicle escaped unharmed.

According to English daily The Star today, both men stopped the car and rushed out in time.

The newspaper reported KL CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah as confirming the incident and that the blast had only damaged the car’s rear without injuring anyone, including motorists or passers-by.

According to the police, the incident could be an act of sabotage, the paper added.

The Datuk Seri, who was detained for 17 months under the EO in 2005, is also believed to be involved in underworld activities, The Star reported.

The country has been rocked by almost daily reports of violent crimes, particularly incidents involving firearms, which has led to public fears over the state of security here.

In just over a week, there has been at least nine gun-related incidents reported in the media, including the high-profile assassination of Arab Malaysian Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi last Monday.

Earlier this week, The Malay Mail Online reported crime watchdog MyWatch co-founder S. Gobi Krishnan as alleging that drug gangs were renting out firearms for as little as RM300 for three hours and supplying bullets at just 80 sen each.

The shootings, assaults and gun murders exploded into the nation’s consciousness last Monday when Hussain was assassinated in broad daylight by a gunman in Kuala Lumpur, just days after MyWatch co-founder R. Sri Sanjeevan survived an attempted hit in Negri Sembilan on July 27.

The police and Home Ministry have blamed the rash of shootings and violent crimes on the release of detainees once held without trial under the now-repealed Emergency Ordinance, and are angling for the return of such powers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also vowed to provide the police “anything” it needs to fight serious crime, including extra powers under a new law that is expected to be tabled in Parliament in September.

Last Thursday, the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) announced the government’s decision to introduce new interim measures that allow law enforcers to tap into public communications, as well as to snap electronic tracking bracelets on criminal suspects to arrest the rising crime rate.

Opposition lawmakers, however, have criticised Putrajaya’s plan to intercept communications for intelligence gathering, calling the move “overkill”.

They further contend that Malaysia did not need new laws to combat the growing menace, but only for the police to devote more than just 9 per cent of the force it currently does to crime fighting.

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