PETALING JAYA: MCA has strongly condemned the melee at Low Yat Plaza, saying that the alleged theft incident should not be used to stoke racial sentiments.
Its religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker (pic) said there was no reason for people to follow up the ruckus by turning it into a racial issue.
â€œStealing is a criminal offence. Period. No quarters should even conceive stoking racial fire.
â€œAn isolated incident of theft or dishonesty gone awry has no racial connotation, irrespective of whether the perpetrator is a Chinese or Malay,â€ Ti said in a statement, Monday.
He said there was no place for vigilantism in Malaysia, especially when it involved physical assault and violence.
Ti also hit out at random attacks against members of the media, which occurred on Sunday night.
Three members from the press were among five people who were injured when a group of men barged into a restaurant near Low Yat Plaza, and began attacking patrons with motorcycle helmets.
Ti said social media users who were trying to stoke racial flames should be warned not to be seditious in their commentaries.
â€œThe authorities must act fast and swiftly to take the necessary actions to be seen to be in control and upholding law and order, instead of allowing the public to take the laws into their own hands as a result of inactions or a lethargic authority,â€ said the MCA central committee member.
He called for calm and clear minds so that the issue of theft would not be blown up into a racial confrontation, adding that those who had caused injuries to people and damage to property should face the full brunt of the law.
The event was triggered by an incident Saturday when a youth, who was allegedly nabbed for shoplifting, returned later with a group. And a brawl ensued between them and sales clerks at a smartphone retailerâ€™s counter on the ground floor of the mall.
Protesters gathered outside the mall on Sunday evening and police had the situation under control. However, things escalated past midnight when the mob attack took place.