MPSJ officer and man buries hatchet after scuffle goes viral

Modified 14 Feb 2020, 12:36 pm
  • UPDATED 8.35PM |  Dispute resolved, details based on statement from Subang Jaya assemblyperson.

The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) officer and a middle-aged man involved in an altercation on Thursday have decided to bury the hatchet.

Subang Jaya assemblyperson Michelle Ng said both individuals have met her today together with accredited mediator Sean Onn.

“I’m glad to inform that following discussion between both parties, the MPSJ officer and the said individual have willingly made peace and resolved their misunderstanding.

“MPSJ, the MPSJ officer and the individual concerned have also agreed that the matter between them is conclusively settled,” she said in a statement today.

In a video circulated on social media platform yesterday, the man, estimated to be around 60 years of age, was seen threatening to hit the officer with his umbrella during an argument over the towing of his car.

The man then hit the officer's arm using his umbrella after which the officer punched his face before slamming him to the ground.

The civilian was then seen lying in pain on the sidewalk with blood dripping from the back of his head. Several other people at the location came to the injured man's aid and pulled the officer away.

Neither the identity of the man nor the MPSJ officer involved in the 37-second video has been publicly disclosed.

Yesterday, Ng has said the MPSJ officer should apologise to the man.

She said that while the man was wrong for attacking the officer using an umbrella, the latter should not have responded with excessive force.

"I am very sad and disappointed with the action of the MPSJ enforcement officer roughing up a man in a video clip that was taken in USJ 9 which has since gone viral.

"Although the man was wrong for first hitting the enforcement officer using an umbrella, the officer should not have responded using excessive force.

"The officer should apologise to the individual while MPSJ must also make things right with him," Ng said in an earlier statement.

She added the council must also take the necessary measures to ensure that its officers are well-trained to handle such situations so that similar incidents would not happen again.

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Service (Cuepacs), on the other hand, has come to the defence of the MPSJ enforcement officer.

In a statement, Cuepacs president Adnan Mat said the incident would not have happened if members of the public understood the duties of civil servants and accept what's coming to them for flouting the law.

"In protecting himself from the assault, the officer had to defend himself from the risk of injuries that might be inflicted upon him during the incident," he said.

Michelle Ng

While he did not specifically mention any names, Adnan in his statement also threw a punch believed to be aimed at Ng, saying elected representatives should be fair in how they viewed the incident.

He said members of the government, MPs and state assemblypersons "could not look at the issue only from the interest of a single party".

Adnan added that passing judgement on social media was also unfair to the civil servant and urged the government to deliver stern punishment upon those who obstructed a civil servant's duty.

Ikatan Youth wing also jumped onto the bandwagon defending the officer, saying that it was clear from the video that a civil servant was being attacked by a member of the public.

Its chief, Shahir Adnan, said Ng should be fair on the civil servant instead of imposing a "trial by media" on him with her statement calling for him to apologise.

"Ikatan Youth wants to call on all politicians, especially the Subang Jaya assemblyperson, to be careful in issuing statements so as to not hurt the feelings of the people.

"Politicians should not be quick to jump to conclusions. An incident should be thoroughly assessed with an open mind," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, MPSJ president Noraini Roslan had said the officer involved in the incident will be taken out of active duty while an investigation is conducted.

She said an internal investigation into the matter would be carried out thoroughly and in a fair manner.

According to Noraini, the incident happened when the officer wanted to tow away the man's car during an operation against vehicles that were obstructing traffic at the USJ 9 commercial area in Subang Jaya.

The man, she added, became upset when action was taken against his car and tried to secure its release before arguing with the officer.

"The traffic offence and the offence of assaulting an on-duty officer is clear in this incident.

"At the same time, MPSJ is also looking seriously at the response of the enforcement officer," she said.

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