25 December 2015
One of Kuala Lumpur’s older malls, Kota Raya, is seeing few customers this week, a change from the usual throng of migrant workers who fill the place. At Mara Digital Mall with its Malay-only traders 2km away, the place is just as deserted.
These two venues are linked by recent violent mall brawls – Kota Raya became empty after a fight, and the Mara mall was born following an earlier dispute.
The fights between Malay men using sticks and helmets and Chinese phone sellers have become the latest symbol of Malaysia’s fractious society. The matter is made worse by activists turning disputes over cellphones into a race issue, and fuelled by the authorities’ lack of action and seemingly slow intervention from top politicians.
… Other Malay groups have now jumped in and are blaming Chinese traders for “cheating”. They include Islamic group Isma and the Muslim Consumers Association. This could worsen the multi-ethnic cracks, analysts say. “Of course, if left unchecked it would certainly escalate,” said Dr Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/12/2015