Student activists say attacked by mob at Dataran Merdeka

(TMI) — Student activists camped out at Dataran Merdeka here this morning reported they were attacked by a mob early this morning.

The group, calling itself Occupy Dataran, which has been based at the iconic square since last week, claimed that the varsity students lobbying for free tertiary education were beaten up by a group of unknown people numbering between 60 and 70.

“There were 60-70 thugs, attacked our camp at Dataran Merdeka at about 2.45 this morning. Those with cameras and recording devices were ambushed and attacked.

“One person has been sent to the hospital in an ambulance,” the group said in a media statement early this morning.

The student activists have been camping out in tents, in shifts, since last Saturday when hundreds of them marched across the capital city to lobby for free tertiary education, after being disenchanted by pay-back terms and conditions over a government higher education loan scheme.

A nearly five-minute long video on the group’s Twitter account, @occupydataran, showed several groups of people milling about the encampment and on the road between the square and the historic Sultan Abdul Samad Building while being checked by policemen.


From the 3.21 minute, a group of young men dressed in printed black T-shirts are shown rushing towards another group of men, including those dressed in the striking yellow Bersih T-shirts, attempting to kick at them. 

The video does not record anyone actually being beaten up as alleged, but does contain sounds of people shouting in the background. Most of the words are undecipherable, but some are clearly enunciated, such as some men’s voices yelling “Bodoh!” (Stupid) and “Assalamualaikum” repeatedly. 

Several figures, including those dressed in police uniform, were seen trying to break up the clash and telling onlookers to disperse.

The Occupy Dataran group will hold a press conference at noon today about the incident.