Bloody scenes at a Bayan Lepas, Penang factory emerged yesterday afternoon, after a former employee went on a rampage, armed with two parang (machetes) and a knife.
The 25-year-old suspect was eventually shot and killed by police; however, before law enforcement was able to arrive on the scene, he had already seriously injured a 47-year-old female supervisor, inflicting fatal cuts to her head, neck and hands. She succumbed to the attack in hospital. A second victim, reportedly a man, was also hospitalized and is said to be in stable condition.
Having not been to work at the B. Braun medical industries factory for the better part of the week, the man had come to work to tender his resignation. Reports have emerged that he had been suffering depression over the last few months. Employees say that prior to the 4:45pm incident, the suspect had been acting “normal” and was not displaying suspicious behavior that would indicate the tragedy that would soon ensue.
Eye-witnesses say that the suspect attacked his two victims first, and then began to walk around the factory looking for others.
At this point, police had been called to the scene; however, factory officials did not sound an alarm, as they reportedly were unsure the effect it would have on the angry suspect.
Officers initially tried to calm the man, but he is reported to have charged at the police. At this point, law enforcement discharged their weapons and killed the man.
While investigations are on-going, officers attached to the case have confirmed that the man had been “depressed” and that he spent his time at the factory working for two years in an isolated room. How the man managed to bring weapons into the factory is still unknown.
Mental health officials have called on employers to keep track of employees’ mental states, with a professor from the Universiti Malaya criticizing focus on productivity over well-being. “Work-related stress is often over-looked,” said Associate Professor Dr. Ng Chong Guan. He added that men were less likely to seek help, and lack of support could contribute to an eventual physical and mental breakdown.
This article, Penang factory worker goes on machete rampage, killing one colleague and injuring another, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!