Low Yat Plaza brawl: Racial crisis averted thanks to quick-thinking police, say Malaysians

Low Yat Plaza brawl:  Racial crisis averted thanks to quick-thinking police, say Malaysians
PHOTO: China Press

PETALING JAYA - The swift action by police in defusing last weekend's heated situation at Low Yat Plaza has received the thumbs up from many people.

MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon said the announcement by police that it was "nothing more than a case of shoplifting" was needed to calm the tense situation.

"The IGP's detailed explanation shows the independence and transparent reporting by the police to an anxious public.

"This certainly helped to defuse tension, especially among those who believed in the social media rumours," he said when visiting Kwong Wah Yit Poh photographer Calvin Foong along with vice-chairman Nicole Wong.

Foong was among five people who were injured during the attack by the unruly mob on Sunday.

Chong said MCA also wanted a fair investigation into those rounded up for the fracas, adding that almost all of those brought in to aid in investigations had been released. Among those still in police custody were four Chinese aged between 19 and 28.

Last night, Chong brought a lawyer to the Dang Wangi police headquarters to brief the four on their rights.

"Our president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is in China, told us to give as much assistance as possible," said Chong,

He added that he had personally made phone calls to the parents of those still in police custody, assuring them of their children's safety.

"If possible, we want to get them released tomorrow," he said.

Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie called on Malaysians to come together to defend multi-culturalism and preserve national unity and social harmony.

"Wanita MCA applauds the swift action by the police in defusing a potential racial crisis triggered by a handphone theft.

"However, the violence has raised an alarm in our multi-racial society. Race relations are weak and cannot be taken lightly.

"A small flame, if left unchecked, may become a big fire," she said in a statement.

Author and entrepreneur Anas Zubedy also commended the police.

"The chief of police made a statement regarding the situation quickly and that's what we want. I'm very glad it was quick and they nailed it," he said.

G25 coordinator Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin said she was glad that the police appeared to be "on top of the situation" and that those responsible had been detained.

Datuk Irwan Shah Abdullah, better known as DJ Dave, who was at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday with Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, said the police did a good job by quickly cordoning off the area.

"We were on our way back from a buka puasa event in Malacca when we found out that the crowd was building up, so we went to help disperse the crowd.

"Azeez told the crowd to disperse as it is the holy month of Ramadan and it was not right to cause problems," said DJ Dave.

MCA's Public Service and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong said emotions aggravated the issue, which led to people reacting to unverified reports online.

"The police acted with wisdom. Luckily, no lives were lost," he said.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, the chairman of the Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies, said he app­reciated the police's "quick and honest" assessment and prompt response to the situation.

"Now they must follow up quickly with the others involved. We want them to nip these tendencies in the bud."

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