By his account, he was only a curiosity-seeker who wanted to know what was going on at the site of a disputed barricade near Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) last night.
In no time at all, however, Chang Jiun Haur was soaked in his own blood after being repeatedly beaten by 20 riot squad (FRU) personnel armed with batons and boots with steel toes.
Chang, 21, his sister and two friends were driving away from the site of the barricade about 11.30pm, when their car was surrounded by police personnel who had earlier dealt with a fracas involving BMC residents.
A high-ranking police officer at the scene claimed that Chang had run over a FRU personnel with his car, and that the police reacted to this.
“He asked for it. He ran over a policeman and he got what he deserved,” the officer told Malaysiakini a few minutes after the incident.
Asked to identify the personnel, the officer had initial difficulty in persuading the individual to come forward. When he did so, the man claimed: “He tried to run me over...look at my baton, it is broken. What more evidence do you want?”
However, a police officer who took Chang to the Kajang Hospital said none of the personnel had been hit by the latter’s car.
Chang denied this as well: “We had just come back (to Kuala Lumpur) from Port Dickson and wanted to see what was going on.”
He was lying on a bed, with a bloodied mouth. His shirt had been torn off by the police, and his shorts were drenched in blood. He was crying from the shock and trauma, and was unable to say much more.
It is learnt that Chang was placed in the intensive care unit. The other occupants of his car were arrested last night, but were released today according to BMC Open Road Committee chairperson Tan Boon Hwa who has been keeping tabs on last night’s dramatic events.
DAP Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu, who visited Chang later, said the police had over-reacted and that the excessive use of force could not be justified.
“The police should maintain law and order and not assault people. I am disappointed. My party will provide Chang and the others with lawyers,” Liu said.
Chinese-language dailies reported today that more than 10 people were seriously injured in yesterday’s incident, which saw BMC residents assaulted by ‘thugs’ allegedly hired by toll concessionaire Grand Saga.
However, the company has disassociated itself from the incident, also saying it does not condone violence.
About 7pm yesterday, defiant residents attempted to tear down the barricade that had just been rebuilt, but were confronted by unidentified men armed with iron rods, helmets and sticks.
“They attacked the residents immediately. About 10 people were assaulted and three of them were reporters. Their cameras were confiscated as well,” claimed Tan.
Star reported that Utusan Malaysia photographer Roy Azis Abdul Aziz had been beaten up when he tried to take photos of the fracas.
BMC resident Chin Kee Chong’s right arm was broken (right) and he suffered injuries to his head, while another resident - Lee Ah Seng - sustained severe injuries to his head.
Some residents claimed that several policemen present during the incident had failed to intervene.
Kajang police chief Shakaruddin Che Mood, however, said they were only traffic policemen whom he had sent to the area for traffic control.
“They were too busy controlling traffic and could not do anything,” he told reporters, adding that five police reports have been lodged on the assault.
Grand Saga has been involved in a long-running dispute over its bid to block a toll-free access road from BMC to the Cheras-Kajang Highway. The barricade has been rebuilt on three occasions, after being torn down by residents.
The Selangor menteri besar's political secretary, Nik Nazmi Nik Ali, has said that a response will be issued today over last night’s incident.
Syed Jaymal Zahiidhttp://www.malaysiakini.com/news/83561