Malays protected me, says Chinese newspaper journalist injured in Low Yat Plaza brawl

Sin Chew Daily crime reporter Chan Woei Loon, who was attacked while covering the brawl at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday, July 12, 2015, said that he was saved by several Malay men. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A reporter who was beaten up while covering the brawl at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday has shared another side to the ugly incident.

According to Sin Chew Daily crime reporter Chan Woei Loon, what had happened over the weekend had nothing to do with race, as proven by the people who had saved him from being beaten up.

"After being badly beaten up, there were Malay reporters who tried to help. There were also Malay members of the Civil Defence Department (JPAM) who rushed me to hospital.

"The doctor who treated me was also Malay. As a friend said, this had nothing to do with racial issues.

"Doesn't matter what race you are, if anyone is in trouble, we are there to help," he said in a Chinese language Facebook post that was translated into Malay.

Mr Chan said that the main cause of the incident was not race, but stupidity.

He said being a crime reporter for five years and having covered similar protests, he had expected to come out of Sunday's incident unharmed.

"But I was still beaten up and injured," he said.

Recounting the incident, Mr Chan said he and a photographer were assigned to cover the protest at Low Yat Plaza as they were on the night shift.

As he was submitting a story at a nearby mamak stall, following a press conference at 11pm, another fight broke out.

"As I was at the mamak, I saw a China Press photographer, Sam Kar Haur, being chased and beaten up by a group of people.

"Kar Haur tried to escape, but he was pushed and fell near the mamak stall as the group kept assaulting him.

"I ran to his rescue, but there were about 20 to 30 people beating him up. I could only protect him. Because of that, I was also punched and hit with helmets.

"At the time, a few Malay men pushed away those who tried to beat us, and saved Kar Haur. I backed away and ran to a small alley.

"When I reached where policemen were, they stopped hitting me," said Mr Chan.

He said that the incident was a reminder that there were many people willing to help in difficult situations like this.

"Let's reject any racist comments," he said.

Both Mr Chan and Mr Sam were among five people injured in a mob attack near Low Yat Plaza on Sunday night.

An eyewitness said a group of 50 to 60 men barged into a food outlet near the shopping mall and assaulted the patrons with motorcycle helmets at around midnight.

Earlier in the night, a group gathered at Low Yat Plaza following Saturday's melee between customers and sales clerks at a mobile phone kiosk.

On Saturday, a fight erupted between the thugs and sales assistants after a group of youths came to the shop on the ground floor at Low Yat Plaza.

According to the police, a clear-cut theft had led to the brawl.

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