KUANTAN - A policeman was found dead with gunshot wounds after he went missing while pursuing armed suspects in Jaya Gading here.
Kpl Abdul Halim Md Ali, 48, together with the Jaya Gading police station chief and two other policemen had been on a crime prevention patrol at the LKPP plantation at about 4pm on Sunday.
They were riding on four motorcycles and were accompanied by a villager acting as a guide.
The policemen then spotted two men who appeared to be carrying shotguns and proceeded to give chase, said state police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani.
He added that Kpl Abdul Halim later dropped off the villager, who was riding pillion, before joining the rest of his colleagues to pursue the suspects.
The rest of the policemen lost sight of Kpl Abdul Halim halfway into the chase. Efforts to contact him via walkie-talkie or his mobile phone were unsuccessful.
Kpl Abdul Halim's body was found in the oil palm plantation by a worker at about 9am yesterday with shotgun wounds in the face and chest.
Kpl Abdul Halim's son Shahrul Nuie, who works as a surveyor in the Klang Valley, sped home on his motorcycle to see his father for the last time upon hearing of the incident.
Shahrul Nuie, 20, said he could not believe it when he received a phone call from his mother telling him what happened.
"My siblings and I, except for our eldest brother, managed to spend time with our dad on New Year's Eve. It was the last time I got to be with him," said Shahrul Nuie, who described his father as a quiet man who rarely talked about his job but who was warm to his family members.
"Dad often advised me to ride my motorcycle safely especially during long distance travel," said the second of four siblings.
Kpl Abdul Halim, who hailed from Felda Bukit Mendi, Bera, left behind wife Asmahlaily Jusoh, 46, as well as four children: Shahrul Nuie, Mohd Zainul Ariffin, 23, Nurul Huda, 16, and Nurul Aisyah, 14.
SDCP Sharifuddin said investigations are ongoing.