MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman however says group should have gone through proper channels instead of taking on the traders themselves.
PETALING JAYA: MCA has lauded a Muslim consumer group for not linking the brouhaha over suspected unscrupulous traders in the Kota Raya Shopping Complex to race.
The party’s Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Ti Lian Ker said the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) acted objectively, by disassociating ethnicity from the incident in view of how a similar incident at Low Yat Plaza earlier this year degenerated into a race issue.
The Low Yat Plaza riot in July was sparked off by an alleged phone theft at one of its stores.
Any attempts to racialise such incidents, he said, should be nipped in the bud, while such perceptions should not be allowed to fester in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country like Malaysia.
“We must look at incidents objectively or risk falling into traps laid by opportunist who want to make such incidents a platform so they can be relevant, politically or otherwise,” he told FMT.
Ti however said PPIM should not have raided the shops of those suspected of scamming customers and should have instead worked with the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.
He explained there were legitimate channels where buyers could raise their grievances such as the Tribunal for Consumer Claims. He said lodging a police report was also another option.
Dissatisfaction over product pricing and purchases must never be solved via battery and harassment nor should it be perceived from a racial perspective.
PPIM’s actions, the former assemblyman explained, could encourage others to do the same, without any guarantee that such groups would be able to control their emotions should things get out of hand.
“And all it needs is for just one person to pit one race against another, as had occurred with the Low Yat riot, to create unease among Malaysians.”
It was reported yesterday that PPIM special unit director Muhammad Yusuf Azmi said they viewed the incident purely from the point of view of consumers’ righs and that it had nothing to do with one’s ethnicity.
Cheating in Kota Raya, he explained involved every race and also a foreigner.
Muhammad Yusuf’s clarification came following a statement last week by Mohd Ali Baharom, also known as Ali Tinju that the government should conduct training for Chinese handphone traders, to prevent future case of cheating.