What started out as a nightly routine turned into a nightmare when armed robbers attacked two Singaporeans on Tuesday.
Wedding photographer Muhammad Afiq Mohd Asmuni, 25, and his stepfather were filling up their car at a Shell petrol station in Johor Baru when the robbery occurred at around 2.45am.
The petrol station, at Kampung Melayu Majidee, which is about a five-minute drive from the Causeway, is popular with Singapore motorists.
The family have been living in Johor Baru for almost three years. Their home is a mere 15 minutes from the petrol station. The pair usually top up their petrol between 12.30am and 1am.
But they went there later than usual on Tuesday because both had been delayed at work in Singapore.
Malay language daily Berita Harian (BH) reported that the two men were the only motorists at the petrol station before the attack.
Mr Muhammad Afiq's stepfather, who declined to be identified, was standing outside their Honda Odyssey when two men on a motorcycle approached them.
Mr Muhammad Afiq, who was in the car, told BH: "The rider came, knocked on the window and started threatening me.
"He then slipped his hand into a pocket of his jacket, indicating to me that he had a firearm. I didn't see the object, but from its size and shape, I suspected that it was one."
The rider ordered Mr Muhammad Afiq to step out the vehicle and helped himself to the photographer's bag and mobile phone, which had been placed near his legs.
At the same moment, a scuffle broke out between his stepfather and the pillion rider.
The rider was armed with a hammer.
When the latter dropped the tool, Mr Muhammad Afiq's stepfather tried to grab hold of it, but failed.
The rider managed to get hold of the hammer and he used it to hit the stepfather twice on his head, which started bleeding. He also used the tool to smash the driver's window before fleeing.
Mr Muhammad Afiq said: "He ordered me not to interfere with what he was doing. If I had come forward, I think he could have shot either my stepfather or me."
He informed Malaysian police shortly after and his stepfather was rushed to the nearby Sultanah Aminah Hospital.
BH reported that among other things, the robbers got away with three mobile phones and about $900 in cash.
Despite his ordeal, Mr Muhammad Afiq posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that there was "no need to be mean by saying nasty stuff about our fellow neighbouring country".
He added: "Though still traumatised, we are coping well... This incident was the first we ever faced... You can't fight fate."
This article was first published on August 16, 2014.
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