GEORGE TOWN, April 12 — Private Adam Jaafar, who fired on Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur with a stolen M16 in 1987, did not have a brother who was allegedly beaten to death by the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
His siblings, Hawa Jaafar and Arman Jaafar, said the supposed brother did not exist beyond rumours in real life and online.
“We want this to stop. It is not fair to us as people are saying we were all paid a lot of money, given RM10,000 monthly so that we don’t expose the alleged murder of our brother by royalty,” Hawa said in a press conference at her low-cost flat in Sungai Ara.
She appealed to the authorities to reopen Adam’s case to disprove the rumour.
Gesturing to her low-cost flat, she said she would not be living here if she was getting RM10,000 monthly.
“We just want the truth to be revealed and this rumour to stop, it is hurting our family, making us seem as if we don’t care about our own brother who was murdered when nothing of this sort happened,” she said.
She said there were nine siblings including Adam; one younger sister, Azimah, died in a fire in 1975.
Adam, formerly an Army Ranger Regiment sharpshooter, had gone on a shooting spree in Chow Kit that left one person dead from a bullet ricochet and several others wounded.
It was heard during his trial that he suffered a nervous breakdown after he was mentally, physically and sexually tortured at his army camp in Ipoh.
Adam was initially sentenced to hang over the incident, but was later sent to Tanjung Rambutan instead.
Hawa said the 10 years in Tanjung Rambutan with the possibility of being hanged left a lasting effect on Adam mentally.
“He turned to drugs and even after he was released, he could not stop the habit because he depended on it to overcome his mental stress,” she said.
As a result, she said Adam had been arrested twice for drug possession and was now incarcerated in the Penang Prison for a drug offence.
“This is his second offence so he was sentenced to five years’ jail,” she said.
She said this was why Adam could not join her in refuting the rumours about the Johor royalty.
Hawa, who broke down in tears a few times throughout the press conference, said the whole family was unfamiliar with the Johor royal house and the late Sultan Iskandar Ismail.
“We don’t understand how Adam’s case was linked to the Johor Sultan and we wish to apologise to them that they were also victimised by these false rumours,” she said.
According to rumours from the era, the purported brother had been caddying for the late Johor Sultan and could not suppress his laugh when the state Ruler missed a shot, prompting the Sultan to hit him with a golf club.
Somehow, it came to be purported that Adam's shooting rampage was driven by his desire to seek vengeance for this non-existent sibling.
Three decades on, the urban legend along with associated rumours as well as embellishments live on and continue to be shared on various online platforms.
Hawa said the family tried repeatedly to dispel such rumours, but detractors would simply accuse them of being bought off by the Johor royalty.
Her brother, Arman Jaafar, said there were even rumours that Adam was given a house in Johor and paid a large sum of money as “settlement”.
“We have had enough of this. People should stop spreading lies,” they said.
They appealed to the authorities to pursue those still spread this rumour online.
“Please arrest all of them so that this rumour can stop once and for all,” Hawa said.
A book titled Konfesi Prebet Adam and it’s English translation Amok at Chow Kit by Syahril A. Kadir also dispelled the rumours.
In the book, Adam recounted the physical and mental torture he underwent at the army camp that had led to that fateful night.