KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Ali Baharom (pic), popularly known as Ali Tinju, has been arrested over alleged seditious statements he made outside the Kota Raya shopping complex before a brawl there.
City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Zainuddin Ahmad confirmed that the former soldier would be investigated under the Sedition Act. He was arrested at 7pm yesterday in front of Dang Wangi police station.
On Friday, Ali Tinju led a group of red shirts to stage a protest at the Kota Raya shopping complex, allegedly to teach cellphone traders there a lesson.
The protest was in retaliation to an alleged incident where a customer was locked up in a room for four hours after refusing to pay for overpriced handphones. After the protest, a group of 20 people attacked the shop owners at the mall with sticks and helmets,
In September, Ali Tinju was freed by the Sessions Court of allegedly using seditious words during a riot at Low Yat Plaza after the prosecution withdrew the charge.
The fracas in Kota Raya complex started with a Facebook posting about a handphone dealer allegedly cheating a customer.
The user then asked others to band together and claim a refund from handphone sellers at the Kota Raya complex.
That led to the fracas and police have arrested a parking attendant over the brawl. Two people were injured in the brawl.
Dang Wangi deputy police chief Supt Habibi Majinji said the 38-year-old parking attendant was arrested at the shopping complex on Sunday, after the fracas was brought under control.
“The suspect was part of the group involved in the assault on the shop workers.
“He works as a parking attendant in a shopping complex in the city,” he said. The man is expected to be remanded today.
Supt Habibi said police were investigating whether the suspect was one of the individuals allegedly swindled by the traders.
“The mobile phone worker was injured in the assault and has lodged a police report.
“We will release the images of the suspects in due time,” he noted.
Supt Habibi said those claiming to have been cheated by the traders did not lodge any police report prior to the fracas.
“They only lodged a report after the incident on Sunday.
“From what I understand, these customers were asked by a Facebook user to band together and claim a refund.”
“I would like to stress that NGOs and individuals should not take the law into their own hands.
“They don’t have the legal authority to do that,” he said, adding that police would increase security around Kota Raya.
The traders claimed to have suffered losses amounting to RM15,000 in stolen items and damage to the premises.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said taking matters into their own hands was a crime even if there was an element of cheating.
“That is what the law is for. They should have gone through it the proper way by lodging a police report,” he said in a press conference at Bukit Aman yesterday.
It was reported that the group of 20 men armed with sticks and helmets came shortly after the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) held a press conference outside the shop on Sunday.
The group then got into a fight with eight workers who were in the shop at that time.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also warned angry buyers not to take matters into their own hands.
He said they should go straight to the authorities if they believe they have been cheated.
“I view the brawling incident in Kompleks Kota Raya, which has triggered public concern, very seriously,” Najib tweeted yesterday.
“If there are cases of fraud, lodge a report with the authorities who will investigate and take appropriate action,” he said.