67-Year-Old Man Dies After He Was Attacked For Allegedly Stealing Oil Palm Fruits

Four suspects have been nabbed after the police reclassified the case as murder.

Cover image via L. Manimaran/Berita Harian

A 67-year-old man in Sitiawan, Perak died in the hospital after he was caught and beaten up over suspected theft

File photo of the hospital.

Image via Kinder Asia

Berita Harian reported on Sunday, 22 July, that Noorbek Siron died at 8pm at the Seri Manjung Hospital (HSM) on 21 July after sustaining life-threatening injuries on Wednesday.

According to Noorbek's wife, Siti Rakiah Madu, it is believed that Noorbek was attacked three days earlier on 18 July at about 11.30pm over suspicion that he stole oil palm fruits at the oil palm plantation near his house in Lekir, Sitiawan.

She reportedly said that she only found out about the incident the next day on 19 July, when she realised that her husband had failed to return home.

65-year-old Siti Rakiah said that she searched for her husband at the oil palm plantation after realising that he was missing that morning

"I found one of my husband's shoes and I knew then that something terrible had happened," she was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.

About two hours later, she returned with her nephew to look for her husband. It was then that they found the other shoe as well as signs of a struggle.

She then went to the Manjung police headquarters to find out if they had any information on her husband and found out that a senior citizen had been arrested for allegedly stealing oil palm fruits. The man was taken to hospital because he had been beaten up.

"I went to the Seri Majung Hospital and my heart fell when I saw that he was in such a weak state, with bruises all over his face and his left eye badly injured."

Siti Rakiah said that her husband was still conscious and lucid when she met him at the hospital

Noorbek told Siti Rakiah that he had been beaten up, which resulted in him suffering multiple injuries.

Siti Rakiah also said that she was told by doctors that Noorbek had suffered several broken ribs and a broken hipbone, and suffered injuries to his lungs and bleeding in the brain, as well as being blinded in the left eye.

Her husband was also apparently referred to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) for checks on his internal injuries before he was transferred back to HSM on Friday morning.

Noorbek’s condition worsened and he eventually succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night.

Following her husband's death, Siti Rakiah was initially unable to claim her husband's body for burial

Family members claiming the body of Noorbek Siron at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) Forensics Department.

Image via L. Manimaran/Berita Harian

According to Siti Rakiah, as reported by Harian Metro, the police wanted to conduct a postmortem examination to determine the true cause of death.

"I was told that the postmortem examination found that my husband died of injuries to his head due to blunt force trauma," she said.

"Even if my husband did try to steal, why the need to beat him up so inhumanely when he's just a small-sized old man? I am leaving it to police to find the culprits and bring them to justice."

In light of Noorbek's death, police have reclassified the case as murder

Manjung police chief Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Hanif Othman

Image via Noor Hidayah Tanzizi/Berita Harian

New Straits Times (NST) reported Manjung police chief Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Hanif Othman as saying that the police had initially classified the case as theft.

In another report by NST today, 23 July, it is learnt that the police have arrested four suspects, aged between 20 and 40, to assist investigations into the case.

"We need them for further questioning as we are still determining the actual motive behind the attack," Muhammad Hanif said.

He also reminded the public not to take matters into their own hands. Instead, they are advised to hand over suspect(s) to the police and let the law do the rest.

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