JOHOR BARU: The father of murdered naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain yesterday said he accepts the decision to allow a group of 13 Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) students to resume their studies.
This came after they were released on a court bond following their initial arrest in the investigation.
Zulkarnain Idros said the decision, which was announced by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh on Friday, was not a matter in which he had a say in.
“It is not my right to say anything on their education as that was a decision made by their higher-ups.
“That decision is the prerogative of the authorities. If it is an Armed Forces matter, it will be decided by the Defence Ministry.
“If it is an education matter, the appropriate ministry will handle it,” Zulkarnain, 53, said when contacted by the New Sunday Times.
He said the students had a right to an education.
This came after Idris announced that 13 UPNM students, who were released on court bond after they were initially detained in the investigation over Zulfarhan's murder, would be allowed to resume their studies.
He had said the decision was made by UPNM to give the students the opportunity to continue their courses.
Zulfarhan, 21, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after he was allegedly abused over a laptop theft on May 22.
A total of 36 people, including 32 students from UPNM were initially arrested in the case.
Out of the 32 from UPNM, 13 of them, all aged 21, were brought to court on June 14 to face charges under Section 330 of the Penal Code which was read together with Section 34 for voluntarily causing hurt which provides for a jail term of seven years and liable to be fined, upon conviction.
Five other UPNM students were charged with murdering the victim, while another student was charged with abetting the murder.
The remaining 13 UPNM students were released on court bond and would be called in as witnesses.
Zulkarnain said since his son’s death on June 1, he and his family had been visiting Zulfarhan’s grave often.
He added that his wife, Hawa Osman, 54, and their three other children, aged between 15 and 19, were keeping themselves occupied with work and other commitments.
“My wife and I have resumed our work and we visit our boy’s grave as often as we can.
“My family also attended a ‘tahlil’ held for my late son at the state Education Department quarters in Larkin last night,” said Zulkarnain who is a taxi driver.