One dead in KL blast, 13 others injured

KUALA LUMPUR - Terrorism may have been ruled out as the cause of the grenade blast which killed a man and injured 13 others, including one Singaporean, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

But it has still left some Singaporeans jittery about visiting the popular Bukit Bintang district, where the blast took place outside a nightclub at 4.25am.

Police later detonated a second grenade that did not go off when thrown during the attack.

"I'll probably avoid the area for a while until the police have investigated and found the cause of it," Ms Pan Shi Hua, 26, a marketing executive who visits the Malaysian capital every three months to shop and eat, told The Straits Times.

The blast, which was determined to have been caused by a military-grade hand grenade, occurred outside the Cherry Blossom Club in the Sun Complex.

The man killed was 36-year-old car jockey Tiong Kwang Yie. Two Chinese nationals, Singaporean Wong Kim Teng and a Thai were among the injured.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Wong, 67, was hospitalised at the Ampang Hospital yesterday with leg injuries.

He told the paper: "It was like thunder. And then suddenly I saw blood all over me."

News of the blast created shockwaves on both sides of the Causeway. On any given day, the Bukit Bintang area is teeming with locals and tourists alike, as one can tuck into food, either along the streets or in cafes and restaurants, shop at several malls and then head for a massage or foot reflexology after. For late-night entertainment, there is also a bevy of pubs and nightclubs in the area.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak vowed that the authorities would track down and punish the perpetrators.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the violence that occurred this morning in Bukit Bintang," he said. "Such lawlessness will not be tolerated. Police investigations are under way and the perpetrators of this crime will be found and brought to justice."

The city's Criminal Investigation Department chief Gan Kong Meng told reporters that police believe the incident to be "business-related".

He added: "We believe the motive is revenge and more than one person is involved in this."

A senior counter-terrorism official, Ayub Khan, also ruled out terrorism, reportedly telling the Malay Mail Online: "It was a gang rivalry."

It is believed that police have several leads on the suspects.