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26 Dec 2015

On Sunday, about 20 men attacked a mobile phone store in the Kota Raya shopping mall, injuring two workers. ― File pic
On Sunday, about 20 men attacked a mobile phone store in the Kota Raya shopping mall, injuring two workers. ― File pic 
The Kota Raya brawl resembles the Low Yat racial riot from July, but the former
may have stemmed from a lack of confidence in Malaysian law enforcement rather
than simple communal tension.
Unlike the Low Yat
case where claims that a Malay buyer was defrauded by Chinese traders were
later disproven, the Kota Raya incident began as a genuine case of cheating.
According to reports,
the victim in the Kota Raya incident ― who was purportedly forced to pay
RM5,000 for four mobile phones that he said was initially offered for RM800 but
was later raised to RM10,000 ― lodged a report with the Domestic Trade,
Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK).
Despite reports that
the Tribunal for Consumer Claims had ordered the shop in question to return the
sum, the complainant still went to Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association
(PPIM), which took it upon itself to “raid” the outlet and take RM12,000 in
This was followed by
Sunday’s events in which about 20 men attacked the same store in the Kota Raya
shopping mall, injuring two workers.
“I think this sort of
vigilantism is not only a Malaysian phenomenon ― it’s a worldwide phenomenon,”
Dr Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International
Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, told Malay
Mail Online
, noting the existence of debt collectors and bounty hunters in
the US.
“I think nowadays
people are sort of getting fed up with, for example, the proper legal and law
enforcement process and are taking things in their own hand. It’s a worrying
trend, but it’s not a uniquely Malaysian trend. You see that happening in the
United States as well,” he added.
Such perceptions can
be exacerbated by high-profile police action in political cases such as those
involving dissent, compared to the less visible crime prevention efforts.
Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last month lamented that Malaysians continue to
perceive a high threat of crime despite police lowering the crime rate by 40
per cent in the past four years.
According to the
United Nations 2015 Human Development Report that cited a Gallup poll, only 48
per cent of Malaysians said they feel safe walking alone at night, while
slightly more than half, 57 per cent, had confidence in the judicial system.
Aside from the eroding
faith in the local justice system, Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs
(IDEAS) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said there are also groups that feel
they can act with impunity.
“When combined, you
get a situation where people feel they just cannot wait for the authorities.
But this is not healthy. We need to ensure rule of law is respected and both
the authorities and the public need to work in it,” Wan Saiful told Malay
Mail Online
The growing trend in
vigilante action also comes amid worsening communal ties in the country, which
were highlighted by the racial overtones of the complaints in the Kota Raya
James Chin, head of
the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, pointed out that instead of
curbing such tendencies, government leaders were encouraging the segregation
among Malaysians.
“We are slowing
reaching a point where everything is seen through an ethnic lens, for instance
the setting up of Low Yat 2. Even the simple act of buying a handphone now has
a racial criteria before it,” he told Malay Mail Online.
“There is no leader in
Malaysia who is capable to controlling the racist groups out there and that is
why they are getting more daring with more outlandish stunts,” the political
analyst added.

Sumber : http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/kota-raya-case-symptom-of-shrinking-faith-in-countrys-laws