KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― Former soldier Mohd Ali Baharom told the ethnic Chinese community not to respond to yesterday’s brawl at the Kota Raya mall here, saying his group of Malays will “rise” if they do so.
The self-proclaimed leader of Merah 1Malaysia, a movement purporting to champion Malay rights, denied that its red-shirted members were involved in the scuffle that sent two handphone sellers to hospital, but said they would oppose any Chinese entity that dared to question the incident.
“We will observe first. If there’s any sign of the Chinese rising, we will oppose. We will rise to defend.
“Don’t blame other races; the Chinese or MCA, if their people are unethical in business,” the army veteran better known as Ali Tinju told ProjekMMO, Malay Mail Online’s sister publication in Bahasa Malaysia, when contacted.
A fight broke out at the Kota Raya Shopping Complex in the city yesterday, shortly after the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) held a news conference there to highlight a cheating case.
Some 20 men armed with sticks and helmets stormed a handphone shop in the mall at about 5pm seeking refunds and got into an argument with the workers that turned violent, The Star reported.
A 2.30-minute clip of the scuffle has since been uploaded onto popular video-sharing site YouTube, showing chairs being thrown into a store and two men being assaulted even after falling to the ground.
Mohd Ali insisted the brawlers were not from Merah 1Malaysia, adding that the group’s actions were guided by the Federal Constitution.
Instead, he said the fight was a consequence of the actions of unscrupulous Chinese handphone traders who dominated the shopping complex and would not have happened if they had been ethical and respected consumer rights.
“I support 100 per cent the actions of customers who are dissatisfied because I 100 per cent blame the Chinese merchants who are unethical, irresponsible, blackmail, cheat and twist facts. This is what should be punished really.
“Hitting is not right but we can’t talk because they are angry and emotional. Maybe it’s the way the seller was insolent when speaking to Malays,” Mohd Ali said.