KOTA KINABALU: Police have called for calm following a clash on Sunday (June 9) between locals and suspected foreigners in Sabah's Ranau district amid viral WhatsApp claims that locals had surrounded an illegal immigrant settlement.
Ranau police chief Deputy Supt Mohd Shahrul Abdul Wahab urged people to remain calm, saying police were investigating the case to identify the suspects behind the incident.
“We are taking action and the case is still under investigation,” he said.
“On the issue of various viral messages circulating on social media, the public is urged to stay calm and not take the law into their own hands, especially when it involves public safety and public order here,” he said.
Following the incident at 12.15pm on Sunday (June 10), Shahrul said a 28-year-old local man suffered injuries to his head and body after he was caught in a commotion between two groups near the Ranau market about 100km from here.
Shahrul said the victim was standing in front of a convenience store when he saw a group of men coming out of a car and attacking another group at about 12.15pm.
The victim started running and stopped near a fruit stall, but he was hit several times on the back of his head and body by two foreigners with a steel pipe
“He managed to wrest the weapon from the suspects before running away,” Shahrul said, adding that when police arrived at the scene, the suspects had already fled.
He said the victim received six stitches at the hospital for his injuries before being discharged.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 324 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons.
Those with information on the case are urged to contact the nearest police station.