A couple were on their way to a Johor Baru mall for their weekly shopping trip when three men tried to rob them.
Mr Darren Tan, 39, and his wife had just passed the Woodlands Checkpoint into Malaysia at around 6.30pm on Tuesday and were at a traffic junction when they were attacked.
Mr Tan said that three men on two motorcycles flanked his Honda Odyssey. The motorcyclist on the right side tried to open the door, but it was locked.
He then heard a loud crash and saw shards of glass falling on his wife, who was in the front passenger seat.
A man on the left side of the car had punched the window, said Mr Tan, a fleet executive in an oil company.
The man put his hand through the broken window and tried to snatch Mrs Tan's handbag, which was slung over her shoulder.
Frightened, she started screaming loudly and held on tightly to her bag.
The tug-of-war between Mrs Tan and the biker lasted for about a minute. The biker eventually gave up and fled.
Mrs Tan's legs were injured by the broken glass.
Mr Tan said: "I was so shocked when I heard the window crash. I did not know what to do."
Mr Tan, a Malaysian and a Singapore permanent resident, said his wife, a Singaporean, is still traumatised by the incident.
He said that in a bid to escape, the motorcyclists tried to squeeze through a small gap between his car and the car in front. So he inched forward, hoping to block their path.
Mr Tan said: "I wanted to hit their bikes so that I could catch them."
But he was too late and rammed the car in front. No one was hurt.
Mr Tan apologised profusely to the driver of that car. He then went to file a police report, but decided against it in the end.
This is Mr Tan's first such encounter in his 20 years of driving up north.
He related the incident in a Facebook post, to warn other motorists.
For Singaporeans heading to Malaysia, he has this piece of advice: Stay alert and keep the car doors locked at all times.
Mr Tan said he will now go to Johor Baru only to visit his parents and relatives.
This article was first published on June 26, 2015.
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