SHAH ALAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Rampant gangsterism in Malaysian schools is back in the limelight with the arrest of 13 schoolboys after a commotion outside a school in Klang.
Selangor police have set up a task force to investigate gangland activities in schools after videos of a group of motorcyclists creating a ruckus outside the school in Taman Sri Andalas went viral.
Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmat said although the motive for the commotion was still being probed, the 13 schoolboys and five others had been remanded.
"The 13 students arrested were from schools in the area, while the five other youths were working as mechanics and security guards.
"We have remanded them for four days to assist in investigations," he told reporters at the Selangor police headquarters here.
He said as soon as the video went viral, a police report was lodged and the task force was formed.
"Together with Bukit Aman CID, we launched a series of operations on Thursday night (April 20) and arrested the youths, aged between 16 and 25.
"We are investigating the case under Section 52 of the Societies Act 1966 for using a triad ritual," he said.
The arrests came after two videos of motorcyclists causing a commotion outside the school went viral on Thursday night.
In the first video clip, the group is seen shouting and revving motorcycle engines outside the school. They are also seen holding up banners, one of which bears the letter "24", "TD4" and a black swastika.
One youth swings firecrackers around as frightened schoolchildren scurry away.
The second video starts with a close-up of a cake with the words "SMK Sri Andalas", "24" and "Apache" written on it.
At least one of the motorcyclists in this clip is seen wearing a school uniform. The location and time of the 24-second footage appear to be the same as the first.
Authorities have been fighting gangsterism in schools for years.
In 2010, The Star reported on drunken, foul-mouthed schoolboys attacking others and molesting girls in a school at Rawang.
The schoolboys also brazenly painted the school walls with their gang numbers. However, the walls have since been painted over and the gang activities have gone quiet.
At the time, teachers, parents and residents had opted to keep quiet as they were afraid of what these teenagers could do to them.
Molest was said to be rampant, but almost all the cases went unreported as victims feared more severe "repercussions''.
The matter came to light after a police report was lodged by several girls over the rape of a 14-year-old girl at their school premises. The girl had been repeatedly raped by some of her classmates in various locations of the school over a three-week period.
A former triad member said extorting from schoolmates was a daily occurrence, with some gang members distributing drugs such as ganja, ketamine and Eramin 5 in school.