Recently, several clips were circulated on social media showing a Sabahan delivery rider for Lalamove being put in a chokehold at a building at Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) building in Kuala Lumpur after a verbal altercation with a security guard. He was also called a foreigner as he spoke Malay with a distinct accent.

In the clips, the small-sized young man is seen being held to the ground by a Malaysian man twice his size wearing a red blazer. At one point, the victim said the problem was between him and the security guard (a foreigner), to which the man in the red blazer replied that he (the victim) must also be a foreigner as he spoke Malay with a different accent. “You’re not from here”, the man said. The victim responded that he was from Sabah.

The woman filming can be heard desperately yelling at the man to free the Sabahan, saying, “His arms cannot be broken, please.” She added, “He’s not fighting back and he’s small anyway.”

Despite this, the man pinned the rider down by the neck while restraining the rider’s other arm on his (the rider’s) back. The rider can be heard crying out in pain and whimpering, and he did not appear to be resisting.

The man in the red blazer said, “He’s going to jump,” later explaining that the rider tried to jump twice. The woman insisted that the rider would not jump and said that the rider had only done so because the foreign security guard had provoked him.

The woman who filmed the video had said she would accept full responsibility for the delivery request as she requested that the rider be allowed to go through despite the fact that deliverymen were not allowed to pass through that area of the office building.

However, the foreign security guard refused to let the rider go, which caused the rider to lunge at the security guard, resulting in an argument. This then prompted the bystander in the red blazer to join in the kerfuffle by holding the rider to the ground and refusing to let go of him until an employee from the office building stepped in.

According to a Facebook post by the woman, the rider appeared to suffer from hyperventilation and trouble moving following the commotion. Another man was seen helping the rider take off his helmet and his mask as he appeared to be in pain.

Watch the video here and the second part of the video is in the comments:

Comparisons were made to the incident involving George Floyd, an African American man who was murdered by a police officer in the US after he knelt on Floyd's neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds which caused a lack of oxygen.

Comments have flooded in online about the incident. Some have emphasised the importance of customers being aware of the rules at a particular establishment before requesting delivery riders to enter.

Additionally, many negative comments have been made about the man’s discrimination of the man due to his accent.

Police Investigation

On 3 November, The Star reported that the police are carrying out an investigation on the matter. Dang Wangi Deputy OCPD Supt Nazron Abd Yusof said that they had opened an investigation under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt. "We have identified a witness and have called the person to record a statement," he elaborated.

According to the Daily Express, five people have been called to facilitate investigations.

Burying the Hatchet?

In a Facebook group dedicated to Lalamove Malaysia, a user shared a photo of the rider and the man who assaulted him in a photo together, appearing to have made up. The user said that they didn't have all the information on the issue but would let the picture do the talking.

Sabah MP wants Security Guard Arrested

Sabah lawmaker and Kudat member of Parliament Datuk Verdon Bahana has posted a video commentary on the issue.

"There are two really disappointing things in this clip. The first was the violence that the security officer had inflicted on the rider. The second is the nature of the discrimination against Sabah. This is very insulting and cannot be accepted,” he said. Vernon added if the perpetrator is found guilty, he should be sent to Sabah to learn more about the language and the state.

"Just imagine that we have been independent for 60 years, we have been together in Malaysia for 60 years but there are still ‘mangkuk hayun’ (ignoramuses) who do not know that the language is from Sabah. This is something that needs to be taken seriously," Verdon went on to say.

"I will also speak with other lawmakers in Sabah if there is a need to bring this matter in the Dewan Rakyat, this is an obscenity to national integration where everyone should have understood the positions of Sabah, Sarawak and the Peninsular are in one country and we know each other.”

"Therefore police should take action to catch the suspects and this will act as a lesson to our society," he ended.

Those with information on the matter may contact the Dang Wangi police hotline at 03-2600 2222.