A man who recently removed plants at an event space in Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya has since apologised for his mistake
In an Instagram post today, @merwenmerman explains that he was passing by Awegallery while getting food in the area and spotted the plants.
"I am deeply sorry for my action and really sorry for causing all the inconvenience, but really my intention was never stealing but to give the plant a second chance to live.
"I saw tons of plants and pots were abandoned (my prejudgment) and they were in very bad condition. The leaves were fried and curling up and in serious need to be [treated]... My first thought 'Why sacrifice the plant when shop aren't operating due to this pandemic?!' So I decided to rescue those plants that I think I can bring them back into life."
As it had not rained in the past couple of days, he explains that the plants would have had little chance of surviving and there was no place for them to get rain water either.
He goes on to say that he spent time watering the plants that he was unable to rescue.
"I [wouldn't] have parked my car directly in front of the shop if my intention was to steal. All I want is to give them the love and care they deserved."
"However, taking properties without asking permission was wrong. I will return all the plants I thought I rescued and [I'm] willing take full responsibility towards the action I made. Once again, please accept my apology."
Awegallery has since thanked the guy for his sincere apology and honesty.
Awegallery previously shared footage of someone taking their plants that were put outside their place as decoration
On 23 July, the event space uploaded photos of a guy wearing a cap, T-shirt, and shorts digging up their plants at 7am in the morning, prior to their opening hours.
"We totally understand that pandemic has made everyone suffer, however that was not some 'plant bank' for you to take freely. If you want free plant, just ask, don't steal," they wrote in an Instagram post.
Speaking to SAYS, one of the owners Dora Ong said that it did not appear to have been an accident because the guy seemed well-prepared
According to Ong, closed-circuit television (CCTV) showed him inspecting the plants at Awesome Canteen, a restaurant located on the same row, but it looked like their plants were too huge for him to manage.
He then walked over to Awegallery and started digging up their plants. She said that he was carrying a bag and took a total of four plants, including their monstera, ficus, and anthurium.
"Plants are like our family! We placed them outside for fresh air and sunlight. They are not left there unwanted nor unattended."
In a separate video, the guy was then seen putting his loot into a yellow Myvi and driving off
"For this individual who has taken our plants, you can come by discreetly to return them to us. Otherwise, we hope that you don't go around [the] area doing this to other plant owners. It was as heartbreaking as our kids being taken away!", reads the caption.
Ong reiterated that as much as the pandemic has caused many to suffer financially, stealing is not the way to go about it
"If you want our plants, we can offer some to you, but digging up everything and taking them is just not the way it should be."
She explains to SAYS that this is not the first time someone has taken their plants without permission.
"The reason why we put it on social media is to let people know that this is just not right. No matter what you're taking, stealing is not correct. No matter how trying your situation is, it's just not the way it should be," she adds.
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