Man who slapped imam at Malaysia's National Mosque to be remanded for two weeks

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The foreigner who slapped an imam at Malaysia's National Mosque during Friday prayers will be remanded for two weeks.

Dang Wangi police chief, Asst Comm Zainol Samah, said the 31-year-old Indian national would be held until Oct 2.

He said the man did not have his travel documents with him when he was detained.

His passport was, however, handed over to the police by his housemate later that night. Checks found that the man entered Malaysia on June 18 on a social visit pass.

"That expired on July 17. He is now being probed under the Immigration Act for overstaying," ACP Zainol said.

During the incident, the imam Mohd Zuhairee Mohd Yatim was reciting the surah when the man suddenly went to the front row and shoved him at about 1.30pm.

The man tried to grab the imam's microphone before slapping him on his right cheek and attempted to lead the prayers.

The man was also heard shouting, "You go back", according to ACP Zainol.

However, maintenance personnel intervened and apprehended the assailant.

A video of the incident was widely circulated by Malaysian news sites online.

A police report of the incident said that the man slapped the imam hard across his face causing the imam's head to hurt, the Malay Mail Online reported.

The man was heard shouting in Arabic as he was escorted out of the premises. The prayer session continued after that.

Asst Comm Zainol said the man appeared to be mentally unstable and was talking to himself.

"He told us that he heard a voice telling him to be the imam," he added.