Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Major Zahir's death by negligence

Cops believe Mejar Zahir's death likely due to negligence

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Investigations so far into the death of Major Mohd Zahir Armaya, who was killed in a demonstration at Lok Kawi Camp on Wednesday (Sept 4), indicate that the incident likely happened due to negligence.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said the case was being investigated under Section 304A of the Penal Code and several individuals would be called in to assist the investigation.

"So far, investigations appear to lead to negligence, but further investigation will be carried out, ” he said.

According to Omar, 11 individuals, including military personnel involved in the shooting incident, had been called to give their statement.

On Thursday, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said Royal Malaysia Police were conducting a full investigation into the incident, including identifying the actual cause.

Major Mohd Zahir Armaya, 36, a commando of the 11th Special Forces Regiment, died on Wednesday after being shot during a demonstration in conjunction with the launching of the 5th Infantry Division and the 13th Infantry Brigade in Sabah. – Bernama

5 days ago I published Al Fatihah Major Mohd Zahir Armaya in which I commented:

This has NOT been the first time military or police personnel had perished needlessly by such 'friendly fire'. Usually, failures to follow procedures had been the cause.

Boards of Inquiry after Boards of Inquiry, and Court Martial after Court Martial, but alas, mark my word, such tragedies will happen again and again - and in all armed forces and police forces around the world. For men are imperfect mortals prone to errors (known as human errors). All we can do is to set the best possible safety procedures, instil discipline in handling arms, audit and improve the safe handling, and make the men follow the procedures. But errors lurk, always.

Since then, I was informed by a matey that the Special Forces used 'live' rounds in exercises and even in a shooting 'demo', thus it was not a 'mistake' of friendly fire that the Major perished needlessly from.

I confess I was shocked by that revelation. Though I knew that from time to time, 'live' rounds had been used, I was certain that such 'live' rounds would have never been fired directly at participants even in a Special Forces shooting demo.

Apart from shooting practice on inanimate targets at authorised ranges, the only 'live' rounds used on participants have been at the 'battle inoculation' exercise, where military cadets crawled under barbed or concertina wires whilst instructors watch over fixed machine guns firing over their heads at the simulated battlefields.

barbed wire to crawl under seen in background section of above picture 

The simulated 'baptism of fire' would be even more impressive (and scary) at night as the inexperienced cadets see 'live' tracers flying over their heads as they crawled beneath the wires (which actually protect them by ensuring no one is so stupid as to stand up whilst the firing is going on).

The cause of Major Zahir's death ascribed to negligence is therefore hardly surprising but most tragic and lamentable, as it's plain stupid to use a 'live' round directly at an own soldier.

1 comment:

  1. How did a soldier get to be at the direct receiving end of live ammunition during peace time ?
    If this was stunt, it was a most irresponsible one.

    There are many instances of bullet resistant vests getting tested , but those are always worn by mannequins, not live persons.
    There is always a chance of a defect in the vest or the gun is mis-aimed.