On Sunday (23 August), videos posted online showed groups of young men, stereotypically dubbed as mat rempits, in a Royal Rumble at Dataran Merdeka.
The videos showed them duking it out on the streets, throwing punches and kicks while others used their motorcycle helmets as weapons. Some were even seen shouting at onlookers.
It’s not uncommon to witness large gatherings at this historic place, especially when Malaysia’s national day is just around the corner. Unfortunately, seeing fights break out at Dataran Merdeka is not a rare occurrence either.
What raised concerns from the public was that face masks and social distancing obviously didn’t apply to this particular street fight, as most of them were seen mask-less and in physical contact with each other. This fight may seem important to them, but surely the fight against Covid-19 is the most pressing matter at this point.
No one knows what started the brawl, but police believe it might have been a misunderstanding and not related to gangsterism.
Even though no police report was lodged, the police announced that they are investigating the incident under Section 148 of the Penal Code for rioting with weapons in a public space.