JOHOR BARU - Fear for their own safety might have prevented bystanders witnessing a murder at a petrol station near Taman Pelangi from coming to the victim's aid.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's counselling and psychology department head Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Tajudin Ninggal said bystanders at crime scenes would normally experience a diffusion of responsibility.
"No one will feel it is their responsibility to assist because they would feel others might do it.
"That is the natural reaction among bystanders, but in this particular case, people might have been afraid to help as it involved a weapon," he said.
No one helped the man when four assailants attacked him but a video of the incident went viral on social media just hours later.
He added that people would also not want to get involved to avoid being questioned by the police or attend court proceedings.
Dr Mohd Tajudin also said that fake news following the incident also casts a bad image on Malaysians.
"There tends to be people who like to create sensational news for their own pleasure.
"They feel good when their fake news gets lots of attention and reaction especially from social media," he added.
He pointed out that this only showed that social values among Malaysians were deteriorating.
"They portray a lack of empathy and selfishness among these people who like to spread fake news and are also lacking in social responsibility," he said.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, pictures of several handcuffed individuals, purportedly the murder suspects, went viral on social media.
Police described the viral pictures as fake, and urged the public to stop circulating them.