SHAH ALAM: A witness who was caught with his uncle in the commotion outside the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya told an inquest today that the crowd only cooled down after hearing them converse in Mandarin.
Media marketing officer Chan Wei Jie said he and his uncle, Yong Woh Kuan, had been driving home from USJ 16 to USJ 12 at 1.15am on Nov 27.
“We were stuck in a jam and saw the flashing lights of a fire engine ahead, but could not see the vehicle.”
Chan said rioters had surrounded their car, describing them as “initially very aggressive”.
“There was one guy who climbed on the car bonnet and started jumping on it,” he added.
Chan, 24, was the 19th witness in the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
He said about 10 people began hitting the car, which was later found to be badly damaged.
He said he got out of the car and stood at the side of the road while his uncle remained in the vehicle.
“They were shouting at my uncle,” he added. “They told us to stop and get down.”
Yong, who had been trying to start the car engine, also got out of the car after the rioter began jumping on the bonnet.
“The attack only stopped after they heard us communicating in Mandarin,” Chan said, adding that they were later escorted by three people before leaving the scene to lodge a police report.
“Someone in the crowd said ‘sorry’ and told us to go to the police station,” he said.
He said before the attack, he had heard the noise of vehicles colliding as the fire engine reversed.
“We were behind four to six other vehicles before the fire engine banged the left side of our car,” he said.
He added that the impact caused the car to spin around.
He also said he saw 20 to 30 people “chasing away” the fire engine and Emergency Medical Rescue Services van which eventually reversed from the scene.
“I saw people taking videos and another person hitting the van.”
Adib was part of the response team sent from the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station in answer to a call that cars had been set on fire.
He was said to have been assaulted by the crowd and died of his injuries on Dec 17.
The inquest before coroner Rofiah Mohamad has been adjourned to March 19.