RM70,000 Worth Of Electronics Destroyed After A Scuffle Broke Out At Low Yat Plaza

Videos and images taken by onlookers at Low Yat Plaza went viral on social media almost immediately after the drama unfolded last night, 11 July 2015.

Cover image via Imranrais Twitter
12 Nov — 11:47 AM

Low Yat: AG drops Sedition case against Ali Tinju saying there's no proof

The sedition charge against Mohd Ali Baharom was dropped because the police could not come up with the audio recording of the alleged inflammatory remarks the ex-soldier made outside Low Yat Plaza in July, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said.

In commenting on his decision which was widely condemned, Apandi said that without the evidence, he was unable to pursue the case. "The actual recording was not enough. It was only a few seconds... We missed the 'seditious' part," Apandi told The Malaysian Insider in a recent interview.

Asked if he had told police to investigate further and "find the recording?" Apandi said police "couldn't find it. It wasn't forthcoming. I already told them, 'this is not enough. Go and find more.' They said they could not find. So that's the end," he said.

Asked if the police were to be blamed, he said: "Don't put that word, dangerous! As far as I am concerned, I, as the public prosecutor, go through whatever is presented to me, which is from the IP. From the IP, I found that there is insufficient evidence. That makes things difficult. I don't look at this fellow as 'Ali Tinju', I don't even know him. But if there's not enough evidence, there's just not enough evidence."

Ali, who is also known as Ali Tinju, is the president of the Malay Armed Forces Veterans Association. He was charged under the Sedition Act on July 16. He was accused of allegedly saying: "Okay, we want justice. This is the dignity of Malays, not because one Chinese boy attacked many Malays. This is Malay land. Unite, and attack the DAP Chinese who are rude."

Ali had allegedly said this during the riots outside Low Yat Plaza in Jalan Bukit Bintang in the capital city Kuala Lumpur in July. The decision to drop the case sparked outcry from opposition politicians and even MCA leaders, who demanded either a review or an explanation of the matter.

It also gave rise to rumours that the A-G was practising double-standards in the matter, but Apandi rubbished this.

The protest outside the Low Yat Plaza digital mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, was almost turned into a racial riot by some quarters in July. One of those initially charged under the Sedition Act, Mohd Ali Tinju, later had the charges dropped.

Image via TMI
10 Aug — 04:13 PM

Three handphone sellers fined RM1,800 each over Low Yat brawl

Image via SAYS

Three handphone sellers were fined RM1,800 each by the Magistrates Court here for causing grievous hurt to two individuals in Low Yat Plaza last month.

Low Leong Seng, 29, Eric Chan Weng, 23, and Soo Weng Hing, 26, pleaded guilty to hitting Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz, 22, and Mohamad Khairul Azmi Mazlan, 23, at 4.57pm on July 11 at the popular shopping mall. The trio were charged under section 323 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Muhamad Faizal Ismail said the trio would have to spend two months in jail should they fail to pay the fine. All three are now making preparations to settle the fine.

Last month, Shahrul was charged with stealing a RM800 Lenovo S860 smartphone from the shop at which the three were employed. Shahrul has claimed trial to the offence.
10 Aug — 03:59 PM

22 July: National Harmony Act might just be what Malaysia needs following the Low Yat fracas

Minister Joseph Kurup

Image via KWIK News

The recent brawl at Low Yat Plaza is a clear indication that a specific law governing racial and religious hatred is a necessary addition to Malaysia’s law books, said unity minister Joseph Kurup. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the new Act, which was previously shelved along with plans to repeal the Sedition Act, would help preserve harmony among the country’s many ethnic communities.

“This new Bill will give focus to several important elements like prevention, education, moderation, harmony and rehabilitation,” he said in his speech during a walkabout at the tech mall this morning.

“If we let this situation persist, the intolerance habit will start growing. This can potentially disrupt the peace, harmony, religious tolerance and political stability that we have been enjoying so far,” the minister added.

Kurup explained that Putrajaya hopes to table the Bill in the next Parliament session and that it will stand on its own unlike previously when it was mooted as one part of a proposed law to replace the Sedition Act. His ministry is conducting the necessary research for the Bill, including engaging with NGOs in Sabah and Sarawak.
22 Jul — 05:22 PM

21 July, 11.30am: "It wasn't Papagomo who uploaded new info on social media," says lawyer

Image via The Rakyat Post

Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris cannot be the operator of the “Papagomo Original” Facebook account as it was created when the blogger was being detained for a sedition probe, his lawyer said today.

Lawyer Ahmad Shuaib Ismail also said this indicates that the online identity of his client, who is popularly known using his “Papagomo” screenname, was used by someone else for the “Papagomo Original” account.

“The Papagomo Original account in FB… was made when he was remanded in lock-up for three days so it is very impossible and shows there are quarters who used his name,” the lawyer said.

He also confirmed that he had as yet no news on whether his client would be charged with committing any offences.

“He’s on police bail and his case is being investigated under section 4 of the Sedition Act and section 505 of the Penal Code,” said Ahmad Shuaib. “These relate to his Twitter and Facebook accounts.”
21 Jul — 11:35 AM

20 July, 1.45pm: IGP allegedly asked Papagomo for RM20,000 to settle Low Yat arrest

Image via The Star

The inspector-general of police has denied allegations in a circulated WhatsApp conversation that he purportedly solicited a RM20,000 bribe from Umno blogger Papagomo who was detained by police over his involvement in a brawl at Low Yat Plaza last weekend.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today an investigation has been launched into the claim that he solicited a bribe from controversial blogger Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris or Papagomo to “settle” the latter’s case related to last Sunday’s riots outside Low Yat Plaza.

Khalid said the police are aware of the allegation made on a Facebook page linked to Muhammad Azri.

“A report has been lodged and we will investigate,” he told Malay Mail Online via text message.

The Facebook page had also posted rumours of supposed meetings between Malay NGOs and plans for a massive armed brawl in Low Yat yesterday.
20 Jul — 10:52 AM

16 July, 11.45 am: Bukit Aman police roped in to curb false information on social media sites

SDCP Datuk Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarim

Image via esscom

Police are now not only busy with criminal cases but also burdened with the responsibility to correct facts distorted on social media.

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order department director SDCP Datuk Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarim said the dissemination of incorrect information on the social media was getting rampant and it could lead to chaos.

“This is an additional burden on police to maintain public order,” he told a media conference here Wednesday.

He also said that apart from that, cyber crimes such as the hacking of sites were also on the rise.

“Social media users should be rational and ensure information received is correct and not be suspicious of statements issued by police. We have to issue statements later as we want the facts to be correct, we cannot put out incorrect statements as they may be raised in court later,” he added.
16 Jul — 11:28 AM

15 July, 12pm: Blogger Papagomo arrested under the Sedition Act for inciting Low Yat racial riots

Image via The Sun Daily

Police arrested Wan Mohd Azri Wan Deris, who operates the blog "Papa Gomo", under the Sedition Act late last night. Wan Mohd Azri's arrest is in relation to spreading false news related to the brawls that had occurred at Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang over the weekend.

"We arrested Papagomo in his house. In his room," Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

Papagomo had allegedly posted a picture of an injured Malay accident victim on his social media, claiming he was a victim of the Low Yat Plaza brawl. Police gave him a day to turn himself in but the warnings fell on deaf ears.

Khalid said police are also seeking out a member of "a political party" from Penang for spreading racial remarks online. He said other netizens who did the same on social media will also be detained.
16 Jul — 11:28 AM

15 July, 11.30pm: Nazir Razak wants racism to be made illegal for nation's safety

A screenshot of Nazir's Instagram

Image via The Star

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak wants racism to be made illegal saying he fears for the future of Malaysia.Touching on the Low Yat Plaza brawl last Sunday, Nazir, who is CIMB Group chairman and youngest brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, wrote on his Instagram account:

When a silly handphone theft results in racial brawls, I fear for their future. Let’s define and make racism illegal to bring us closer together.”

Nazir also attached a photograph featuring children of various races wearing their traditional costumes.
15 Jul — 11:55 AM

14 July, 3.20pm: Ali Tinju arrested under the Sedition Act over the Low Yat Plaza incident

Image via Malaysiakini

Police have arrested Armed Forces Veterans Association president Mohd Ali Baharomn under the Sediton Act in connection with the Low Yat incident.

Popularly known as 'Ali Tinju', he was detained for making a racially-charged speech outside the plaza on Sunday night, according to China Press.

Mohd Ali was one of the organisers of the “butt exercise protest” outside the house of former Bar Council chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan following a Bersih rally in 2012.

Police confirmed the arrest was done by Bukit Aman.
15 Jul — 11:55 AM

14 July, 3.15pm: 22-year-old Low Yat Plaza theft suspect charged

Police escorting an injured man after the riot at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday night.

Image via SHIN CHEW

A man accused of stealing a mobile phone in Low Yat Plaza, an act which sparked unrest over the weekend in the capital, has claimed trial at the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court. Shahrul Anwar Abdul Aziz, 22, was accused of committing the crime at 4.47pm on July 11 at the mall which specialises in electronic goods.

The accused was clad in a grey t-shirt in court and appeared confused. He said he did not understand the charge when it was first read out to him which led to Aminahtul having to repeat it. The accused then pleaded guilty and muttered “barang kes tak ada” (I don’t have the case evidence). Aminahtul then asked him again if he admitted to the charge, at which point Shahrul then claimed trial.

He was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code for theft which is punishable with a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine or caning. DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim asked for a bail of RM 5,000, however, magistrate Aminahtul Mardiah Md Nor fixed the sum at RM 3,000 and set Aug 14 for hearing.

Defence attorney Shaharudin Ali sought a lower bail on grounds that Shahrul Anwar was unemployed and was taking care of his hearing impaired parents. Shahrul Anwar had initially pleaded guilty when the charge was read out, much to his lawyer's surprise.

"The accused guilty plea is a surprise to me. I had advised him otherwise," Shaharudin told the court.

It appears that Shahrul Anwar did not fully understand what was being asked and changed his plea to not guilty after the magistrate read out the charge for a second time. The alleged phone theft had spiraled into a vicious online hate campaign after videos of Shahrul Anwar's friends exacting revenge in Low Yat Plaza became viral.
15 Jul — 11:55 AM

13 July, 10.20pm: Najib says social media is too "free" and suggests tighter Internet control

Malaysians are urged not to follow the mob mentality and remain calm in the aftermath of the brawl by some 100 people at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he had ordered the Inspector-General of Police to take actions to stop any more incidents from taking place.

"Don't give in to the mob pyschology. If something happens, we tend to follow blindly without knowing the full facts and act using our emotions," he told a press conference after distributing food packs to some 300 homeless people at Jalan Sultan Ismail on Monday.

The prime minister also said it was now necessary to look into existing Internet laws to better regulate its content in the future after claiming the incident was made into a racial issue because the social media was "too free”.

We have freedom on social media so there’s a problem because it’s too free in this instance, so this is something that should be thoroughly researched,” he added.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, better known as Ku Nan, then accused online news portals of spreading false information regarding last night’s fight.

“You are all the cause of all this. You are all the cause of what’s happening, you write all the rubbish,” he said after a reporter revealed that she was from an online news portal.
13 Jul — 10:05 PM

13 July, 6.30pm: Police to probe into cop who released the accomplice without permission

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

Image via The Malaysian Insider

The officer who freed the accomplice of a suspected thief – who allegedly stole a mobile phone at the Low Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday – will be investigated, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

He had done so without consulting his seniors, the national police chief explained, and the freed accomplice then spread false stories that his friend had been beaten up and arrested for demanding justice after he was allegedly sold a fake cell phone.

“The officer had brought both to the station but let the accomplice off. The boy then carried tales that his friend was beaten by the Chinese shop owner and labelled a thief for demanding his rights."

The officer in this case had used his own discretion without referring the matter to his superiors and we will deal with him separately,” Khalid said during a press conference at Low Yat mall here after a visit, following yesterday night’s bloody brawl.
13 Jul — 06:31 PM

Accomplice of youth involved in Low Yat fiasco released

Image via The Star

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar today admitted that the accomplice of the youth who stole a handphone at Low Yat Plaza was released by the police officer-in-charge.

Khalid said the officer-in-charge had released the youth's accomplice without referring to his superior first.
13 Jul — 10:05 PM

13 July, 2.00pm: Screenshots of police reports reveal attackers consumed drugs before entering the building

13 Jul — 01:51 PM

The police have also warned citizens to disregard any rumors concerning the fiasco that could be false. It has also been confirmed that the brawl was not cause by a racial issue.

Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) menasihati orang ramai agar tidak mempercayai sebarang khabar angin tentang insiden yang...

Posted by Polis Diraja Malaysia ( Royal Malaysia Police ) on Sunday, July 12, 2015
13 Jul — 10:05 PM

13 July, 10.30am: CCTV footage acquired by police reveal stolen phone caused the Low Yat fiasco

Police have solved a theft case at Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang, here, which sparked a riot incident on Saturday. Police sources said the case was a clear-cut theft involving a 22-year-old suspect, who took away a cellular phone from a shop there without paying.

"Investigation revealed that the man had stolen a phone, which led to him being arrested by public members."

"Police have also acquired CCTV recordings, which showed him discussing with a sales representative, before he took the phone and walked away when the trader was looking the other way."

“I shouted and was heard by one of the staff from Oppo, who prevented the suspect from leaving the building,” said the trader.

The suspect was arrested by a group of men at the scene, before he was handed over to the plaza's security personnel.

The arrest had upset his friends, who went to the plaza about 7.50pm Saturday to retaliate. The group of seven ran amok there - where they beaten up several workers of a cellular phone outlet and damaged its products and equipment.
13 Jul — 10:05 PM

12 July: At 7:50pm Saturday night, a scuffle broke out between a group of seven men and sales clerks of OPPO store at Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang. During the scuffle, electronics worth RM70K was damaged.

Image via WOB
12 Jul — 01:15 PM

The incident was caught on video by onlookers and shared on social media. As to the reason behind the scuffle at the Plaza, there are two versions of the story. According to media reports:

The reason the fight broke out between the group of men, whom The Star addressed as "thugs", and sales clerks in the OPPO store at Low Yat Plaza, "after a group of youth returned to take revenge against the retailers who caught them shoplifting earlier on Saturday, reported The Star.

The incident took place at the OPPO store.

Image via NST

The local English daily further added that the commotion began earlier in the day when the mall's security guard caught one of the thugs shoplifting in the smartphone store and turned him over to the police. "His friend was not happy and called other people to go to the shop to damage products," The Star quoted Kuala Lumpur CID Chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Zainuddin Ahmad.

Large crowd gathered outside the Plaza during the incident.

Image via NST

The New Straits Times while citing the CID Chief Senior Assistant Commissioner reported that "the incident transpired following the arrest of a suspected thief. The man was nabbed by the plaza's security guard, who then handed him to police. A friend of the suspect was upset with his arrest and called for the others to retaliate."

13 Jul — 09:58 PM

The second version of the story, however, has an entirely different angle. It comes from social media posters, some of whom claim to be present in the Plaza during the incident. According to them:

A group of seven people went to Low Yat Plaza to purchase a Lenovo smartphone, wrote one of the social media users. He added that the seller claimed the phone is original and is not a clone or AP set. But after purchasing the phone, one of the guys in the group showed the phone to his friends and they claimed that it was cloned.

Upset at being duped, they retaliated against the retailer and smashed the glass display at the store, flipping over cabinets and smashing phones and other electronic products.

A photo circulating on Twitter showing the damaged phone shop.

Image via NST

According to another user, the whole incident was about AP and original HP. Apparently the guy bought a phone earlier and claimed it was a clone. So he came back to exchange for an original one. The salesperson refused and the guy just grabbed an original phone and tried to flee. His friends joined in later and smashed that particular retail outlet.

Image via WOB
12 Jul — 01:46 PM

You can watch one of the videos of the incident, here:

12 Jul — 01:52 PM

SAYS independently cannot confirm any of the two versions. However, regardless of which story is true, there was a massive loss of property, RM70K, and the case is being investigated for rioting and mischief amounting to damage of property, said SAC Zainuddin.

Image via WOB
12 Jul — 01:46 PM

Zainuddin added that they have arrested one of the men for causing ruckus while manhunt for the rest of the six is being carried out

Image via WOB
Image via WOB
13 Jul — 07:30 AM

Meanwhile, on Sunday night at around 7pm, in an apparent continuation of Saturday's fiasco, about 200 people gathered in front of the Plaza in reaction to the scuffle. All you should know:

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