Have you ever put much thought into how much effort goes into investigating a crime? Like, sure, we know there’s work done behind the scenes but we often don’t consider the impact it has on the victims.
Earlier this month, Lin Tianfu (林添富) reported he had been blackmailed on the way to work by three police officers. However, he caused some confusion and outrage when he retracted then reconfirmed the statement. Yesterday (29th June), he posted a video explaining his side of the story.
Early June, two young hawkers claimed three policemen had extorted them as they were heading to work. With the help of Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, they managed to bring their case to the attention of the police. However, on 17th June, the oldest hawker Lin (21) retracted and changed the story. Local-singer rapper Namewee (黃明志) suspected something was off and got involved. With his encouragement, the 21-year-old hawker declared his first statement as the accurate one.
Lin visited the police station on 23rd June to rerecord his statement. He was accompanied by his lawyer Lan Yanqi (蓝研綪) who is also representing YouTuber Lim Shangjin (林尚进) for his case. Lin shared that the two-hour interview by the police was mainly about his publicly changed confession. “If the police still requires it, I will fully cooperate,” he said. The 21-year-old also mentioned he was grateful to Namewee for his support. When asked about him refusing Kepong MP Lim’s assistance, Lin stated he was thankful for the help, but Lim had held two press conferences without his consent. This had inadvertently placed Lin in a dilemma.
Knowing people still had questions and were dissatisfied with his actions, Lin uploaded a video to Facebook explaining the case. The 21-year-old clarified his reasons for withdrawing his statement. According to Lin, he had done so as he had been under pressure and was dealing with a financial situation. He added that as the police kept visiting the shop for his statement, the public had stayed away. “(This) affected other shops so I (retracted the statement) not just for myself, but also for others,” he said. Lin explained the police had also taken confessions from his family, friends, roommates and others. Additionally, Lin often felt that he was burning both ends of the candle as he struggled to balance visits to the police station with running the shop.
Another sticking point was that police claimed they had evidence which proved Lin was lying about the incident. According to the police, CCTV footage showed Lin leaving his house later than the time he had mentioned in the incident. The young hawker explained he had gone home after the incident, so he essentially left his home twice. Lin thinks the footage the police obtained is from the second time he left the house. He added he had visited his apartment’s security room and management in hopes of checking the CCTV footage on the day of the incident. However, it was to no avail.
In regard to someone asking him why he hadn’t answered the Kepong MP’s phone call, Lin stated he often received calls from Lim and his assistants. He explained in great detail about the calls and revealed that once, an assistant had asked him to come to the shop as they were “giving him something”. It turned out to be a press conference.
Near the end of the video, Lin included footage of him visiting the DAP headquarters in Kepong. He stated he was returning the RM500 the Kepong MP had given him. Lin added he hoped the incident could be resolved soon.
Watch the video here: