Two headless torsos, four legs, two heads, two hands and an arm had been found in Penang among the recovered body parts of 52 murder victims last year. Among the dead, 18 were identified as Myanmar nationals.
Nine men – Bilal, Mohd Rafik, Habibullah, Mohd Rafi, Yassin, Hussain, Maung Maung, Ali and Hafiz – were charged in the Penang magistrate’s court with the killing their Buddhist countrymen.
See ‘Nine Myanmar nationals charged over brutal murders in Malaysia‘ (Asia One, 15 Jan 2015)
“The flashpoint of this violence is Seberang Prai where Rohingya Muslims from the western Rakhine state are the main suspects in the killings,” said The Malay Mail in an earlier and separate report.
“Most of the victims were Buddhists.” – see ‘Gruesome Myanmar communal murders grip Penang‘ (The Malay Mail, 18 Sept 2014)
Excerpt from Asia One report:
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Malaysia – Nine Myanmar nationals have been charged in three courts in Seberang Perai over the brutal slaying of six of their countrymen late last year.
At a magistrate’s court here, Bilal Mohammad Ghulam, Mohamad Rafik, Habibullah, Mohd Rafi Shafie, Yassin, Hussain Swaley, Soe Maung Maung, Ali and Hafiz Ahmad, aged between 20 and 44, were jointly charged with committing murder as members of an illegal assembly.
They are alleged to have killed Myo Aung and another unidentified man at a house in Cherok Tok Kun, Alma, here, between 8pm and 9.30pm on Nov 23 last year.
No plea was entered and no bail was offered as this offence, under Section 149 of the Penal Code, is punishable under Section 302, which carries the mandatory death sentence.
All nodded when asked if they understood the charge that was read to them in Bahasa Malaysia.
Magistrate Diannee Ningrad Nor Azahar fixed Jan 30 for mention for the appointment of an interpreter.
Four of the accused were later brought before Sessions Court judge M. Vijayalakshmi where Mohamad Rafik, Bilal and Hafiz were charged with another person still at large with the murder of Htoo Aung in front of a shop in Taman Impian Ria, Machang Bubok, here, at 12.45am on Oct 15 last year.
The three, together with Ali and another person still at large, are also charged with murdering Kyaw Tan Hla, 35, and Tun Yine Maung, 28, at the Kampung Manggis oil palm plantation in Machang Bubok at 10pm on Sept 14 last year.
Bilal, Mohamad Rafik, Habibullah, Ali and Mohd Rafi Shafie were then taken to Butterworth, where they were charged at a magistrate’s court with yet another count of murder.
They are alleged to have killed Aung Naing Soe, 23, between 9pm and 10pm by the Bukit Tok Alang oil palm plantation in Jalan Jarak Atas, Tasek Gelugor, on Nov 9 last year. – Asia One
Throat slashed, hands chopped, stomach stabbed
“Some suspect the attacks were related to clashes between Buddhists and Muslims that rocked Burma’s second-biggest city Mandalay last week.”
See ‘Four Burmese workers killed brutally in Malaysia this month‘ (The Irrawaddy, 10 July 2014)
Their throats were slit
Two ethnic Arakanese men — Kyaw Thar Hla, 32 and Kyaw Aye Hlaing, 29 were murdered in Seberang Perai, Penang last September. The two murdered men were Buddhists.
It was believed that both the victims were killed in “communal murders” between the Muslim Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist communities in Malaysia, according to a report ‘Pair of Burmese migrants slashed to death in Malaysia‘ (The Irrawaddy, 18 Sept 2014)
Two more dead bring Burmese murder victim count to 20
Excerpts from news report in The Irrawaddy:
Two more Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia’s Penang State were murdered on Sunday, bringing the number killed this year in the fellow Southeast Asian nation to about 20, according to a Kuala Lumpur-based migrant advocacy group.
San Win, chairman of the Myanmar Free Funeral Service in the Malaysian capital, said one man was stabbed repeatedly in his abdomen and ribs and the other victim had had his throat slit. Their bodies were found by police in an oil palm plantation on Monday.
“They worked in a factory in Butterworth town, in Seberang Perai in Penang,” San Win said. – The Irrawaddy
More murders by Rohingya suspects
Attack on visiting Buddhist politicians from Myanmar rattles the ethnic Rakhines who are Buddhist and the Rohingya communities in Malaysia, says a WSJ report.
“Security experts have warned that these tensions could spill into other parts of the region, particularly Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia where those sympathetic toward the plight of Myanmar Muslims could carry out revenge attacks. Malaysia is especially vulnerable to these tensions, with a large population of both Buddhist and Muslim Myanmar residents.”
Below are further excerpts from the report detailing yet another killing – ‘Myanmar Nationals in Malaysia shaken after activist’s killing‘ (The Wall Street Journal, 19 Feb 2014)
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The brutal killing of a Myanmar-born democracy activist here has unnerved Myanmar nationals in Malaysia, who worry that religious tensions back home are spilling into their sizable community in their adoptive country.
Aung Gyi, a Buddhist and member of the Malaysia chapter of 88 Generation & New Generation Society — a prominent group pushing for further democratic reforms in Myanmar—was found dead Feb. 4, police said. His body had been stuffed in the trunk of an abandoned car, they said. An autopsy report showed he had been stabbed in the neck and face by a screwdriver, attacked with a heavy object–possibly a brick or club — and punched several times.
That same week, two Buddhist politicians from Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state escaped unharmed after a drive-by shooting while visiting Kuala Lumpur, in what police described as a likely assassination attempt. – WSJ