Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed shock over the incident in which a worker was shot to death by police in a factory in the Bayan Baru Industrial Zone.
In a statement today, its Penang division secretary K Veeriah said such an incident has not occurred before in the state.
"Though we do not have full knowledge of the circumstances leading to the fatal shooting, what concerns us is whether the unfortunate loss of a worker's life could have been avoided," he said.
Veeriah said the MTUC wanted to know if the police officers involved could have neutralised the victim as opposed to shooting him dead.
Yesterday, police shot dead the factory worker who ran amok, causing the death of one colleague and seriously injuring another.
The deceased, a 25-year-old factory worker, had allegedly used a parang to attack a female supervisor, aged 47, and a male security manager at the factory.
The incident which occurred around 5.45pm led to the death of the supervisor, who succumbed to her injuries, which included head wounds, while receiving treatment at a hospital.
In a statement yesterday, Penang Southwest district police chief AA Anbalagan said the man, who had worked as a quality assistant for two years at the factory, was believed to have suffered from depression for several months and had been absent from work for a week.
The man had suddenly turned up for work yesterday despite having submitted a letter of resignation effective at the end of this month, he said.
"Policemen who arrived at the scene had told the man to give himself up, but he instead attacked them with a parang, prompting the officers to shoot in self-defence," he added.
Police have seized the parang and a knife, and are investigating the case further, Anbalagan said.
Veeriah called upon the Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador to initiate a full commission of inquiry on the matter.
He also suggested that the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commence an inquest on the matter.
The incident follows another shooting case in Batu Arang, Rawang on Sept 12, where three suspects were shot dead by police, in which the family cried foul, demanding that the police justify their move.
"We believe such an inquiry/inquest would establish the fact as to whether the police personnel involved had acted within their standard operating procedures or otherwise.
"We are given to understand the worker reacted because he had been dismissed by the company.
"Thus, it is our view that an inquest, by Suhakam, ought to also investigate the fairness of the victim's dismissal, as well as the response of the police in the matter," Veeriah said.