Malaysian gangs take to Facebook

PETALING JAYA - Gone are the days of secret gang handshakes and code words - now organised crime is going high-tech.

Several of the gangs which made the news recently - such as the swastika logo 21, the Indian-dominated 36 and mixed-race 18 - are on Facebook.

Although the Facebook groups are closed and require approval to join, the names of administrators and some members are clearly listed.

Some of the Facebook group gangs are 04, 21 (Klang and Shah Alam divisions), 1804 Kaigelz (the gangs 18 and 04 are linked, with 18 drawing its name from the 18 Immortals of Buddhism), and 36, also known as 'Bob Marley'.

The members of these groups have blatantly open profiles, with threatening status updates and photographs.

User 'Suria Jahat', who is purportedly a member of 36, sports the Sanskrit Om symbol as a logo, and the colours red, green and yellow.

His uploads include photos of stacks of RM50 and RM10 notes wrapped in newspaper and tied together with rubber bands, and a parang.

He also uploaded a photo of The Star's recent news story 'Gang 36 - one of the most feared in the nation', with the caption 'bila-bila hidup.' 36 is an offshoot of the infamous 30, or Tiga Line.

The Facebook groups have a decent membership, with 36 Bob Marley boasting 4,659 members, 08 Hidup with 2,372 and 08 Brothers with 2,210.

The posts on the open groups, however, are mostly casual chatter, inspirational pictures in the gang colours, and gang slogans like "siapa berani, lu mari" (he who dares, come here).

Some of the posts even verge on the ridiculous, like 08 Brothers that recently marked a "birthday" celebration for the gang on Aug 8, or gang 21 which posts popular fashion chain Forever 21's logo with alarming regularity.

However, some hint at the dark side of these suspect brotherhoods, such as a post on 21 of a funeral car with the deceased's photo (on the bonnet) obscured, and a banner reading 'born to die - 21 hidup' held up by gang members.

An 1804 group regularly posts up pictures of alleged 36 gang members that it wants a hit on.

One post reads "brothers if you see this 36 f***** anywhere, please inform me... faster brothers... He has been involved in the shooting of one of our brothers!!!!!!!!!! Lu lansi lu mati!" (be cocky, you die)