JOHOR BAHRU, MALAYSIA – Taman Austin Perdana is well established, sought-after residential neighborhood in Malaysia’s capitol city. On Friday, vidoes of an altercation outside a mosque in the neighborhood have gone viral.
Witnesses say the trouble started when a man, driving a white car, honked his car horn outside a mosque. Vehicles parked on both sides of the road were preventing him from advancing down the road. As he repeatedly honked, his actions apparently disturbed the prayer time inside.
Muhammad Akmal Bakar, 18, who was inside at the time, said there was continuous honking during the prayers.
“The sound, which lasted over two or three minutes, was very loud and (that had) interrupted the prayers,” said Bakar.
After prayers were finished, the group of men emerged from the mosque and confronted the inconvenienced driver. Attempting to escape the crowd, the driver suddenly reversed his car, narrowly avoiding a collision with a man standing close to the car.
“The car was moving forward and back twice with speed,” Bakar recalled.
The group of men surrounding the car jump to action, yelling at the driver and hitting his rear windshield with a helmet and orange road cone. According to Bakar, “There were other individuals slamming the car using helmets.” They managing to break the glass and the driver then steped out of the car. At that point, the group attacked the driver.
As people gathered to watch, Bakar said congregation members tried calm the situation. One woman ran toward the altercation, but onlookers stopped her. No one else tried to interfere, although video of the incident was recorded.
One of the videos was taken by a woman speaking Mandarin who said that driver was being “seriously beaten” by the group of men from the mosque. “There are hundreds of people here that beat up one man. He might be dead,” she said.
He did not die, but the victim suffered head and body injuries.
State criminal investigation department chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Kamarulzaman Mamat made a statement following the event. He said four men, aged between 21 and 55, had been arrested. Police will investigate the case as a riot.
If convicted, the suspects could face a fine, a jail term of up to two years, or both, The Star reported.
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