CONTEMPORARY MALAYSIA

con·tem·po·rar·y - Modern times in its generic sense, living, occurring, or existing, at the same time; often also used as a synonym for "modern" Ma·lay·sia - A country of southeast Asia consisting of the southern Malay Peninsula and the northern part of the island of Borneo.

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Kota Kinabalu
: Two City Hall enforcement personnel were hospitalised after they were assaulted by a group of about 20 men during their daily rounds near KK Plaza, Saturday.

Alphonsus Yap, 36, and Morsain Melan, 43, who received 12 and six stitches to the head after the assault, were with three other personnel when the incident occurred at about 11.30am.

Met at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where both were warded, Morsain, who has been with the City Hall enforcement unit for 26 years, said they had just detained a 21-year old woman for peddling smuggled cigarettes in the Sinsuran area and confiscated the items when a group of men suddenly appeared.

He said the men were armed with pipes, wood and rocks and one of the men shouted "Itu bukan polis, mari kita pukul!" (They are not the police, let's assault them!), adding he recognised the man as he had been compounded several times for numerous offences.

Unarmed and outnumbered, Mursain said they decided to back off and walk away but the group charged at them, forcing them to flee.

However, the group caught up with them near KK Plaza, in front of the Central Market and began assaulting them, he said, adding that his three other colleagues sustained only minor injuries.

He said the assault went on for several minutes before their assailants fled, adding that his colleagues sent Alphonsus and him to the hospital at around 12pm.

Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim who visited both men at the hospital at about 3pm the same day, said a police report has been lodged and they were leaving it to the police to investigate and catch the assailants.

He said despite what happened, City Hall would continue to discharge its duties without fear, as the country had laws to deal with such acts.

When questioned whether the incident will finally see its enforcement unit armed with weapons such as pistols, Iliyas brushed off the idea, saying that he believed it was unnecessary.

Instead, Ilyas said the enforcement personnel would be sent to be trained by the police in various aspects of enforcement, including self-defence.

"If the situation really warrants City Hall enforcement units to be armed with pistols, it will consider doing so," he said. Currently, the enforcement unit are armed with batons which were introduced during the time of first mayor Datuk Ghani Abdul Rashid due to frequent assaults in KK and Inanam, including some deaths.

The incidents mostly stemmed in retaliation for action being taken against illegal activities carried out by foreigners.

Also present to visit the men were City Hall's Director General Datuk Dr. Chua Kim Hing, Enforcement Chief Abdul Muchti Muchlis and enforcement officer Ernest Mobikon.