6 NS trainees due in court over murder

ROMPIN, Malaysia - All six National Service trainees from the Pinggiran Pelangi camp in Muadzam Shah near here are expected to be charged in Pekan on Monday over the death of a fellow trainee.

It is learnt that one of them could face a murder charge while the other five for voluntarily causing hurt under Section 302 and 323 of the Penal Code.

The murder charge carries the mandatory death penalty while causing hurt provides for imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to RM2,000 (S$790) upon conviction.

The killing of a trainee was the first such crime committed in a National Service camp, which shocked the public since the programme was mooted in 2003.

The remand period for all six suspects, aged between 17 and 22, would expire tomorrow.

Rompin OCPD Deputy Supt Johari Jahaya said police had completed their investigations and submitted the papers to the Attorney-General's chambers.

"We are still awaiting for a directive before deciding on the next course of action," he said, declining to elaborate further.

All six are being held at the district police lock-up here.

Three of the suspects were picked up shortly after trainee Muhammad Suhaimi Norhamidi, 18, was found sprawled on the bathroom floor at their hostel on Sept 22.

The other three were detained last Sunday.

Muhammad Suhaimi was believed to have been assaulted by a group of trainees who wanted to teach him a lesson for jumping the queue during breakfast.

Two of the trainees picked up had fractured their hands due to the blows they landed on the victim.

The victim was also believed to have had his head banged repeatedly against a cupboard during the assault in the dormitory.

After the vicious attack, the victim staggered to the bathroom before collapsing.

Muhammad Suhaimi died without regaining consciousness at the Muadzam Shah hospital.