Malaysia

Singapore expats say assaulted by bodyguards of Malaysian royalty

By Shannon Teoh
May 09, 2012

An aerial view of Pulau Rawa. — malaysia-islands.com picAn aerial view of Pulau Rawa. — malaysia-islands.com picKUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Four Singapore-based expatriates have alleged that they were attacked by bodyguards of a Malaysian royal family while on holiday at a Johor island.

Singapore’s The Straits Times reported today that the men were “brutally assaulted” within hours of arriving at Alang’s Rawa resort on Pulau Rawa, the second attack in seven years on the island with alleged links to Malaysian royalty.

According to the daily, the attack at the resort island off Mersing left a 28-year-old British man covered with injuries and his German friend in intensive care with bleeding in his brain.

“They grabbed my arm, surrounded me, and kicked me in my genitalia to disable me first, then the onslaught just happened,” the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

The holidaymaker said he and his three friends, all in their 20s, were having dinner on Friday night when the Malaysian VIP arrived with “a lot of security” and “they started playing hip-hop music.”

According to the newspaper, the two victims were invited over for drinks including shots of tequila with the VIP, also in his 20s, and his cousin.

“He was friendly all along and showed no hostility at all. My friend was in mid-conversation with the VIP and his cousin when this aggressive-looking guy just slapped him out of nowhere.

“I don’t know what the nature of the conversation was, I was at the other end of the table, but there was something that was said that wasn’t ‘correct’,” he said.

According to the Brit, the German was followed to the bathroom by the bodyguards.

“I went to see what was going on, but got pushed out of the bathroom. I don’t know what happened in there, but he ran out like a bullet... through the bar and out onto the beach then into the forested area, and they chased him down,” he said.

He added that the remaining men then turned on him before he dashed into the sea, swimming back to shore only after the attackers had left.

He said he then returned to his room and alerted his other friends, but the attackers had caught up with the German man on another part of the island.

According to the newspaper, the group were asked to leave the island the next morning but not before they had settled their bills for the drinks and lodging.

“We were warned by a European lady working there that it was no longer safe. A boat was arranged for us in 10 minutes and we just left,” the Brit said.

The Straits Times also reported that although Alang’s Rawa confirmed that the victim and his friends were guests there, operations manager Fairus Ahmad denied the account, as did the manager of Rawa Safaris, the only other resort on the island.

“We have checked with all staff and management and they have confirmed that they do not know of any incident either,” Fairus was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported that back in Singapore, the German man was placed in intensive care with bleeding in his brain and was moved to a normal ward yesterday.

In 2005, a group of six men, allegedly including a Johor prince, gate-crashed a Brazilian couple’s wedding at Pulau Rawa and attacked wedding guests with golf clubs and sharp objects.

Police detained four men, including a member of the Johor royal family in his 20s, but freed all of them on bail a few days later.