Najib condemns Bukit Bintang blast

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak condemned the bomb blast in Bukit Bintang early yesterday morning, which has claimed the life of a car jockey and injured 13 others.

A hand grenade exploded in front of a pub in Jalan Bukit Bintang in the heart of Kuala Lumpur at 4.25am, killing 36-year-old Tiong Kwang Yie. Police believe the explosion is linked to a gangland war.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the violence that occurred this morning in Bukit Bintang,” Najib said yesterday.

“Such lawlessness will not be tolerated. The police investigation is under way, and the perpetrators of this crime will be found and brought to justice,” he said.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appealed for calm following the blast. Ahmad Zahid was quoted by Bernama as saying he could not confirm whether the blast had anything to do with terrorism as investigations were ongoing.

“The police are on it. The police will issue a statement once they have conclusive evidence on the incident,” he was quoted as saying in Putrajaya yesterday.

The initial police investigation found that two hand grenades were thrown from the second floor of the building but only one exploded.

Describing the incident as worrying, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said it is puzzling that the perpetrators were able to get hold of the explosives despite the country’s strict controls on firearms and explosives.

“The question is how did they get access to the explosives and why target Bukit Bintang?

“Even shootings are hardly heard of in Kuala Lumpur, what more an attack using a hand grenade. And it happened in an area like Bukit Bintang,” said Kok.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun raised concerns over the possible impact the blast could have on tourism as Bukit Bintang is a tourist hotspot.

“We don’t want Kuala Lumpur to be like Haadyai or Bangkok where we can find explosives or things like hand grenades. Police need to investigate how this weapon was brought in. I hope they can quickly solve this matter,” said Fong.

The DAP lawmaker also asked why were there no policemen stationed in the area despite the presence of a police beat base.

“The Sun Complex area is a popular nightspot. There are many nightclubs and pubs there,” he said. “This will have an impact on our country.” — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 10, 2014.