Editor's Note Oct 28 2019 - JB Magistrate Court has released the driver from a reckless driving charge. Read more.
Johor prince Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim has criticised attempts to promote hate and racialise the bicycle tragedy in the state.
He was responding to an invitation to a protest this morning against the driver who rammed into a group of children bicyclists on the highway at 3am last Friday, killing eight.
The full invitation sighted by Malaysiakini read: “Protest against Chinese woman who was not jailed or fined and was let off by police just like that”.
Tunku Idris, who is the Tunku Temenggong of Johor, said: “What is this ridiculous notice going around? Is this how civilised Johoreans behave? Stop playing the blame game.
“I hope Bangsa Johor do not attend this gathering to promote such hate towards an individual. And don’t make it into a racial issue."
Tunku Idris said the driver had “more rights to be on that highway than the underage kids on bicycles with no helmets and no protection gears on”.
“I’ve personally had experience with these children swerving dangerously in front of my car before,” he added.
Tunku Idris said he was sorry for the families’ loss and hopes that they find peace and strength in these difficult times, but stressed that there should not be a blame game.
Meanwhile, the attempt to go ahead with the protest at Dataran Bandaraya Johor this morning ended with arrests.
According to mStar, seven youths on bicycles were arrested near Dataran Bandaraya.
Police also confiscated their bicycles which were modified.
The report said police will summon their parents for a chat about their children.
Authorities have begun cracking down on bicycle gangs among schoolchildren following the tragedy and urged parents to keep an eye on their children.
They race on highways on weekend nights.
No one else turned up for the planned protest as Dataran Bandaraya remained deserted, according to Bernama.
Following the accident, some have taken aim at the 22-year-old driver, including former Bandar Baru Kulim MP Zulkifli Nordin.
“Statements by the police as well as the deputy home minister give the picture as if the children are at fault based on the shallow excuse asking why are the children cycling in large numbers at 3am.
“But no one asks what is a 22-year-old woman driving alone at 3am?
“Is the driver given special protection? Is she from a certain family that needs protection?
“I’ve not heard of any threats against the Chinese woman and makes it not possible for her identity to be revealed,” said Zuklifli, whose comments were published on far-right portal Ismaweb.
According to Bernama, police denied the woman was the daughter of a tycoon.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that two of the eight youths injured in the cycling incident in Jalan Lingkaran Dalam in Johor Baru last Saturday are still hospitalised and under doctor's observation.
Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) director Dr Aman Rabu said one of the victims was previously in the intensive care unit (ICU), but has since been moved to a normal ward.
“Muhd Nazri Mahmudi, 13, who was previously being treated in the ICU has now been placed in the normal ward while Mohamed Shamizal Iqmal Abdullah, 16, is still in the ICU.
“They still need to be observed by our doctors and let us pray that their conditions improve soon,” he told Bernama.
Six other victims, who were also receiving medical treatment for light injuries, have been allowed to go home.
On Feb 18, eight cycling youths died, two others critically injured and six more slightly injured when a car rammed into them in the 3am incident.
What is this ridiculous notice going around? Is this how civilised Johorean behave? Stop playing the blame game. To the families that has lost their loved ones I'm sorry, I too have lost a family member so I know how you feel. I hope you find peace and strength during this difficult times. Let's not blame the parents and let's not blame the lady driver, she has more rights to be on that highway than underage kids on bicycles with no helmets and other protection gears on. I've personally had experienced with these children swerving dangerously in front of my car before. I hope bangsa Johor do not attend this gathering to promote such hate towards an individual. And don't make it into a racial issue. Lets come up with a solution to avoid the same thing from happening again. Al-fatihah to those who lost their lives.