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'Malaysian lawmaker's killer could be Indian'

According to the Malaysian police, the unidentified gunman who shot dead Indian lawmaker S Krishnasamy inside a building lift, could be an Indian.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2008 04:28 IST

Malaysian police suspect the man who shot dead ethnic Indian lawmaker S Krishnasamy from Tengarroh state on Friday could be an Indian.

Quoting eyewitnesses, the police said a man in black shirt and jeans, running away with a packet in hand and making off on a motorcycle could be Indian, The Star newspaper reported on Saturday.

Johor Police Chief Deputy Commissioner Hussin Ismail told a late night press conference that the suspect was in his 30s, medium-built, about 152cm tall and was an Indian.

Cops have thrown a dragnet around the state to prevent the killer from escaping.

Krishnasamy, 62, was a leader of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the party that has traditionally represented the eight percent ethnic Indians in the country.

While political rivalry is suspected behind the murder with the country likely to go to the polls this year, earlier than scheduled, business animosity is also not being ruled out by the authorities.

Krishnasamy had a number of businesses, including a construction company and was believed to have a stake in several restaurants in Johor Baru.

One of his close business associates was a man with known underworld links, The New Straits Times said.

Unnamed sources said their relationship, which began before Krishnasamy entered politics, turned sour about two years ago when police closed in on the man's activities.

The businessman, from Kedah, was investigated for passport forgery, human trafficking and several other cases. He is said to have moved his operations from Kedah to Johor several years ago.

The deceased was said to have helped his associate obtain a tow-truck business licence in Johor Baru.

In October 2006, S Kulasegaran, a member of parliament, lodged a police report against Krishnasamy for manhandling him during the Maika Holdings annual general meeting.

The Tenggaroh lawmaker is the second MIC man to be shot dead. In 2000, Lunas assemblyman Joe Fernandes was gunned down at a traffic light junction.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi expressed his outrage and demanded the killer be caught quickly.

"I am shocked and saddened by the killing of Krishnasamy. This is a cruel and despicable act. I wish to express my condolences to Datuk Krishnasamy's family," he said.

MIC chief and the country's Works Minister S Samy Vellu said: "We have lost a warrior."

Still in India after attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Vellu said: "I am saddened by his death. Such incidents should never have taken place."

"We have lost a warrior who fights for the people. Krishnasamy was a capable and dedicated leader. He was also a personal friend and he had always been a people's person," said Samy Vellu.