The Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal by the government and police for a reduction in the amount of damages awarded to the families of three youths who were killed in a shootout in the Glenmarie industrial zone in Shah Alam, Selangor, 13 years ago.
A three-member bench comprising justices Azizah Nawawi, S Nantha Balan and Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, in allowing the appeal, reduced the amount to RM649,200.
The appellants, found liable for wrongfully causing the deaths of three youths, were appealling against a High Court decision on June 30, 2021, awarding a total of RM1.52 million to the families of the three youths with each family to receive about RM500,000 in damages.
The youths killed in the incident on Nov 13, 2010 were Muhammad Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, Mohd Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, and Muhammad Hanafi Omar, 22.
Azizah, who delivered the unanimous decision, also set aside the RM100,000 damages awarded by the High Court to the families for estate claims under Section 8 of the Civil Law Act and RM100,000 for exemplary damages.
The court also set aside RM100,000 in general damages awarded to the families and substituted it with RM10,000 for each estate for bereavement.
Azizah said the sum of RM100,000 for aggravated damages and RM100,000 for misfeasance in public office would be maintained.
She also maintained RM11,200 in dependency claims for Hairul’s family and RM8,000 in dependency claims for Hanafi’s family.
This means each family will now get RM210,000 in compensation.
The family of the three youths initially lost their suit at the High Court in 2015. However, in 2016, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision and held that the police and government were liable for causing the deaths of the three youths.
The court then ordered the case to go for assessment of damages before the High Court registrar, who awarded a total sum of RM207,000 to the three families.
The families, who were dissatisfied with the assessment amount, appealed to the High Court in Shah Alam for the damages to be reassessed, resulting in a total amount of RM1.5 million awarded to them.
On November 12, 2013, the families of the youths filed a civil suit in the High Court in Shah Alam against the Shah Alam district police chief, the Selangor police chief, the inspector-general of police, the government of Malaysia and police officers.
The lawsuit was filed by Shamil’s parents Shapiei Zainal Abidin and Norhafizah Mad Razali, Hairul’s mother Hamidah Kadar and sister Norhaliza Tuah, and Hanifi’s parents Omar Abu Bakar and Noriah Darus.
The police, in their defence, said they suspected the youths of being members of the "Geng Minyak" who were said to be involved in a series of robberies committed at petrol stations.
This was refuted by the families, who said the three youths had no criminal records.
The families also claimed that the youths were killed execution-style, as the bullets entered their bodies at 45 degrees and were directed inwards and downwards.
Senior federal counsel Noerazlim Saidil appeared for the government and the police, while lawyer Zaid Malek represented the families of the three youths.