KOTA KINABALU, Sept 24 — A riot at a shopping mall here was a fight between rival gangs and not a racially-motivated clash as rumoured, state police said today to quash the speculation floating online.
State police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said officers responding to reports of the 6pm incident at the Centre Point Shopping centre found no indication of racial motives in the altercation.
“It was based on some misunderstanding, but so far the victim himself does not know what triggered the attack,” said Omar.
According to the victim, he and a friend were sitting at an eatery on the fifth floor of the shopping mall when they were approached and attacked by the main suspect, whom he knew, and another man.
He was attacked and beaten on his face and body with chairs and a metal rod.
“The attack soon escalated into a full one fight with others joining in, and the scene was captured on video, with some men appearing to be chasing others away by throwing chairs,” said Omar.
The victim sustained injuries to his head and body and had to be treated at the hospital.
The men all appear to be in their 20s.
Speculation on social media was that it was a fight between some locals and foreigners.
Police said that they were looking for the main suspect, known as Derek, whose last known address is in Kampung Likas, to help with the investigation.
Omar advised members of the public not to spread rumours on the incident or to sensationalise it, both of which could be deemed as incitement.
“But those with knowledge of the incident, we encourage them to come forward and help with the investigation,” he said.
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