Humayun Kabir | Jun 9, 09 3:56pm
Sixteen people were injured during a violent clash that broke out in Kamunting, Perak last night.
Eleven of them have been admitted in the Taiping Hospital while five sought out-patient treatment.
Two individuals have been warded in the intensive care unit.
kamunting_clash_09062009The incident,which started at about 9.30pm outside a cybercafe, was sparked by a misunderstanding between two groups. Four people were then attacked inside the cybercafe.
The situation soon escalated and clashes spilled on to the streets where 12 passersby were injured in ensuing clashes.
Some 100 police personnel arrived at the scene soon after and made three arrests.
Perak police chief Zulkifli Abdullah confirmed the matter, adding that the 16 youths were "rioting" over a small misunderstanding.
"However, the police acted fast to contain the riot," he told Malaysiakini.
According to Taiping OCPD ACP Raja Musa Raja Ahmad, 12 of the sixteen injured were passersby.
The three arrested are being investigated under Section 324 of the Penal code which covers causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.
kamunting_clash_police_03_09060229Roadblocks were seen today around the vicinity of where the clashes took place, but its business as usual in the area.
‘Stay calm and rational'
Today, a ‘muhibbah dialogue' was held between the Raja Musa, Larut Matang District Officer Mahmod Morsidi and local leaders from the MIC, Gerakan and Umno to discuss the incident.
Kamunting assemblyperson Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid, who attended the meeting, said that he was told that the incident involved juvenile delinquents and should be handled in a calm manner.
"(During the meeting) we agreed that community relations must be enhanced. We must also understand the sensitivity of other races and act on this incident in a calm and rational manner," he said, when contacted.
He urged families to keep an eye on their children and provide them with proper guidance to prevent such incidents from recurring.
Other individuals who attended the meeting were two former Sungkai assemblypersons, R Ganesan and S Veerasingam.
Ganesan, who is also the BN's speaker at the state assembly, narrated the incident to Malaysiakini.
"The clash between the two groups occurred in a cybercafe near the Caltex petrol station in Kamunting Expo.
"A total of 11 people were admitted in the Taiping Hospital while five had sought outpatient treatment.
kamunting_clash_02_09060229"Two of the victims who were seriously injured in the clash are in serious condition and have been admitted to the ICU. One of them is an employee of the Gamuda double tracking electric railway project," he said.
He added that a meeting involving the district education deputy chief, penghulus and community leaders was also held for a briefing on proactive steps to take to defuse the situation.
"Secondary school heads have been instructed to give the correct picture of the incident to the students so that they will not be exploited by certain quarters through misinformation," he added.
In a related development, the police have advised people and political parties not to hold any form of ceramah or meetings that might aggravate the situation in Kamunting.
kamunting_clash_nizar_05_09060229Pakatan Rakyat which was scheduled to hold two events at Taiping and Kamunting hand cancelled them.
‘Ignore SMS rumours'
Meanwhile, MIC Youth wing advisor S Vell Paari said he spoke to Ganesan and Veerasingam, and was told that the duo had visited families of those involved in the incident.
He said that there were SMS messages spreading rumours that dozens of Indians were injured, causing the death of two persons.
"The public must stop spreading such rumours as it causes unnecessary racial tension," he said.
He added that the situation was now under control and the authorities were taking measures to contain the incident.
kamunting_clash_MBs_04_09060229"Things are being managed now, isolated incident and should not be exploited," he said.
Later this evening, both Barisan National Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and ousted Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin visited the victims and their family members in the Taiping hospital (photos above).