In 2010, Malaysians were blown away by the Kalaichelvi case, where she was given a two-year jail sentence for unintentionally killing a man who tried to rape her.
The case shook Malaysians, who sympathized her predicament and felt that the sentence was uncalled for as she was merely protecting herself and her basic human rights.
However, quite recently, another incident has surfaced- making netizens question if it’s a repeat of the 2010 case.
Two weeks ago in Terengganu, a man named Zulkifi who lives in Labuan, was reported to have stabbed a robber who tried to break-in to his home where he and his family lived- unintentionally killing him.
Because Zulkifi protected his family from an intruder, he was remanded for 2 weeks and was investigated by the police under section 302 of the Prevention of Combating and Torture of Persons Act but was then later investigated under section 304 for involuntary manslaughter and was allowed bail at RM15, 000.
On the 27th of November, a Facebook page dedicated to saving Zulklifi- ‘Selamatkan Zulklifi’ revealed that the court has decided to reprimand Zulklifi once again and charge him for the two accusations from before.
According to information posted on the Facebook page, the family of Zulkifi was taken aback when they found out that the case was now being re-investigated once again under section 302 and 326 of the Combating and Torture of Persons Act that allows the law to reprimand the said suspect even though the bail has been paid (which was already paid by the family, RM15, 000 to be exact).
Should Zulkifi be found guilty, he could be sentenced to death or face up to 20 years behind bars. He also isn’t allowed bail.
According to Malaysian Insider, Zulkifi is a 50-year-old man with 3 kids- one of which is an 8-year-old with autism.
Till today, the little girl has severe speech impediment and the family cannot afford to send her for treatment because the nearest hospital that offers physiotherapeutic treatment for autism is located 120km from their home.
Zulkifi is also reported to be a man with little to his name. His cramped home is so small; it allegedly takes a person less than 10 steps to walk from his house’s front gate to it’s backdoor.
Despite what little they have, the family has been able to press on in life; that is until the backbone of their home, Zulkifi, was arrested and labeled a criminal.
According to Zulkifi’s wife, Puan Zaimah, she is unable to carry out her daily job of operating her small stall that sells breakfast, as insensitive people who accuse her husband of being a murderer frequently harass her. She is forced to shut herself in at home with her kids, where she is safe.
According to Malaysian Insider, Zulkifi lives in a part of town that has frequent break-in cases. So much in fact that even telephone and electric cables are stolen by drug-dealers looking to make a quick buck.
Because his residential area is no stranger to break-ins, Zulkifli and his family are always on high alert.
On the day of the incident, Zulkifli’s wife saw two men on a motorcycle riding up and down the streets in front of her home suspiciously while she was at her stall, which was 300 meters away. Zulkifli’s wife couldn’t shake her suspicion and alerted Zulkifli who was also at the stall with her at the time.
Zulkifli quietly sneaked up on the two men when they stopped the motorcycle right in front of his home when one of the two men came off the motorcycle and began trying to dislodge the generator of his house’s auto-gate while the second man stood guard on the motorcycle.
Suddenly, the man on the motorcycle who was standing guard saw Zulkifli and charged at him with what was believed to be a steel rod and tried to strike him down. Zulklifli didn’t waste time as he took out a small blade he brought along from his wife’s stall that he uses to cut chicken from his back pocket and stabbed the man who lunged at him. The second robber, who saw the whole thing, lunged at Zulkifli too but Zulkifli managed to defend himself by stabbing the man near his shoulder.
The first robber hopped on to his motorcycle and got away. The second robber tried to catch up with the first robber by crossing the street but collapsed and died near the scene of the incident.
Zulkifli then turned himself in to the Kerteh Police Department later that day.
The police arrested the first robber that got away while he was getting his stab-wound treated at a hospital nearby.
Zulkifli never expected nor intended to kill anyone. He only did as such to protect himself and his family. Instead, his brave but innocent intentions are now seen as a crime in the eyes of the law.
A video of Zulkifli hugging his family after a court hearing has moved many Malaysians to the brink of tears.
How would Zulkifli’s family continue in life should he be sent to prison or to the gallows?
To make matters more depressing, Zulkifli told media that he is defending his own case in court because his family doesn’t have the financial means to hire a lawyer.
“I have not withheld any information and have told the authorities every single detail of what happened. I never intended to kill the robber and God will be my witness. How unfair is the law to punish me for protecting my own basic rights as a human being?” said Zulkifli.
It goes without saying that this incident is unjust and just proves how unfair the laws of our society are.
The Coverage Bureau implores for all Malaysians to support Zulklifi by visiting and liking the Facebook page dedicated to helping him- Selamatkan Zulklifi.
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