KUALA LUMPUR: Netizens and members of the public have come forward and quashed a message that went viral on social media alleging that an old lady was a child kidnapper in shopping complexes.
Major Chinese dailies reported that they denied the rumour which claimed the old lady was part of a hypnotist syndicate out to kidnap children, saying that she was only a lone senior citizen who frequented the malls.
When interviewed, a woman who works at a shop in Paradigm Mall, said she knew the old lady and had seen her many times at the mall.
“We chit-chatted many times and she is a friendly old lady. She usually comes alone and spends time walking around the mall.
“She often interacts with me whenever she passes by my shop. She even gave me books about religious studies.
“Every time she comes, she would buy some cookies from a shop at the ground floor before going home using a ride-sharing app,” said the woman who only wanted to be known as Chan.
On Thursday, a Facebook user posted two photos of the old lady in one of the malls, warning people to be wary of the hypnotiser, claiming that “she will come close and speak to you, making you feel uncomfortable and dizzy".
The post, which was shared thousands of times after it was posted, also claimed that it happened to a friend who was with her daughter in Kuala Lumpur.
However, the original post was removed later in the evening.
On the same day, another WhatsApp voice note and message with the same photos of the old lady were also circulating, with a woman saying that the old lady was from the hypnotist syndicate.
The voice note claimed that the woman felt dizzy after the old lady asked her about her relationship with her daughter and that the girl was cute.
The message claimed that several parents had encountered with the old lady with cases reported in Cheras, Taman Desa, Damansara Perdana and Paradigm Mall.
The press contacted the management of De Market in Taman Desa here, another mall that the old lady usually frequents, and was told that the senior citizen had been a regular visitor there.
Netizens threw in support and related their personal encounter with the old lady, saying the senior citizen with “skinny and weak legs” was not a kidnapper.
When contacted by the press, Kuala Lumpur CID chief Senior Asst Comm Rusdi Mohd Isa said that no report was received about the voice note or the message.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who also received the voice note and message, urged those who laid claims to come forward and lodge a report so that police could investigate.