Residents and traders have claimed that the number of Africans and other foreigners, mainly students from institutions of higher learning, was growing steadily and that
their large number was intimidating.
In Sunday's incident, HELP University College business studies undergraduate Abdel Aziz was murdered.
By Teoh El Sen and Aizat Sharif
African undergraduate Abdel Aziz Hassan Abdraman, 22, will never again see his eight-month-old daughter and 19-year-old wife because he was the “victim of a hate crime” that claimed his life. Abdel Aziz had planned to return home to Chad for Aidilfitri this week and his friends said he was overjoyed at going back to be with his family.
Sunday’s mob attack on 10 African undergraduates in Wangsa Maju caused his death and injured the rest, the victims claimed yesterday. They said they had been harassed and mocked by the same youths for four consecutive days before the attack. They further claimed that some youths had even gone up to their Tar Villa apartment and demanded money and cigarettes.
Police confirmed that the victims had been regularly ridiculed by the youths who expressed their displeasure at the increasing presence of Africans in the neighbourhood. In one incident, a student was also kicked at an Internet café.
Residents and traders have claimed that the number of Africans and other foreigners, mainly students from institutions of higher learning, was growing steadily and that their large number was intimidating. In Sunday’s incident, HELP University College business studies undergraduate Abdel Aziz was murdered. He sustained stab wounds to the right abdomen and died in the ambulance on the way to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Several other students, also from Chad, were injured when they were attacked by some 20 youths wielding metal rods, sticks and knives near the Wangsa Maju LRT station. Sentul district police chief Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan told Malay Mail that initial investigations revealed that the attack stemmed from the uneasiness of the residents over the behaviour of the Africans. “We believe the youths who attacked the Africans wanted to teach them a lesson to behave themselves in public.”
Police have detained three men, in their 20s, from Wangsa Maju to assist in investigations. They will be under remand until Saturday. Police are also examining closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) images near the LRT station to ascertain the events leading to the attack.
Malay Mail learnt the drama unfolded when three undergraduates were on the way to board the LRT to perform terawih prayers at a nearby mosque at 8.30pm. They were confronted by some 20 youths who were believed to have hurled abuse at them and demanded money. When the trio ignored them and walked away, the youths, carrying switch blades, pursued them and struck one of them on the head. The students took refuge at the LRT station and sought assistance from their African friends living nearby. Seven of their friends, including Abdel Aziz, went to their aid and together they went back to where the trio was attacked.
Abdel Aziz’s cousin, Abdraman Moussa Mohamat, 23, said: “We asked the youths who were seated at the stalls why they had attacked our friends but they came for us suddenly without saying a word. “We ran for our lives when they began swinging metal rods, sticks and knives at us. In the fracas, Abdel Aziz was stabbed from the back.” The mob fled after Abdel Aziz collapsed by the roadside some 15 metres from the stalls.
Lamine Moustapha Ahmat, 22, a Rima College student, said he carried the victim while his friends tried in vain to stop a taxi . Many taxis waiting to pick up LRT commuters refused to budge. A passerby then called for an ambulance.
Note: Abdel Aziz first enrolled with the International Islamic University of Malaysia before switching to HELP University College. His father, who runs a palm oil import-export business, was informed about the tragedy on Sunday night and his brother will arrive today to claim the remains.