Cops arrest military veteran ‘Ali Tinju’ over racially-charged speech in Low Yat riot crackdown

The scene outside Low Yat Plaza on the evening of July 12, 2015 — Picture courtesy of Asyraf HighTech on Twitter
The scene outside Low Yat Plaza on the evening of July 12, 2015 — Picture courtesy of Asyraf HighTech on Twitter

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 ― Police today confirmed they have arrested Armed Forces Veterans Association President Mohd Ali Baharom for allegedly making a racially-charged speech prior to Sunday's bloody riots in front of Low Yat Plaza.

City chief police officer (CPO) Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said Mohd Ali, popularly known as Ali Tinju, was arrested this morning and that his case is being handled by Bukit Aman.

“Yes, it's confirmed we arrested him this morning,” he told Malay Mail Online briefly when contacted.

Yesterday, a video went viral of a man ― believed to be Mohd Ali ― addressing a group of people gathered in front of the popular information technology (IT) mall.

In the video, said the gathering in front of Low Yat was to seek justice and to uphold the dignity of Malay youths.

He also proclaimed the country to be “bumi Melayu” or Malay land, and that the Malays must be united to stand against “rude DAP Chinese” in the country.

Police confirm that Mohd Ali is being investigated under the Sedition Act.

National news agency Bernama reported that a 22-year-old man was arrested by police on Saturday on suspicion of theft at Low Yat Plaza.

The man’s friends reportedly reacted by returning to the same handphone store the same night and thrashing the place, causing an estimated RM70,000 in damages.

The commotion turned into a demonstration on Sunday night after several messages spread on social media resulted in scores of people gathering outside the mall reportedly to demand retribution.

Several scuffles broke out after midnight outside the mall, leaving several people injured — with three of them being journalists.

To date, 19 people have been arrested for participating in the melee.