KUALA LUMPUR: An attempted kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl by a foreigner was foiled at a market in Highland Park, Kuala Kangsar, on Monday.
The girl’s vegetable-seller parents noticed the attempted abduction by a 21-year-old Rohingya refugee just in time, and detained the suspect on the spot.
In the Feb 19 incident, the little girl was sitting in her parent’s lorry while they were manning a vegetable stall nearby.
Suddenly, they heard their daughter crying.
The father, whose surname is Wong, went to check on his daughter and was shocked to see a man standing beside the lorry, trying to grab his daughter by the hand.
Caught red-handed, the Rohingya man tried to apologise to Wong, saying he was only trying to take a photo with the child.
Wong did not believe him and detained him with help of other people at the market.
They tied his hands and interrogated the Rohingya man, before handing him over to the police who arrived in a patrol car shortly after.
When interrogated by the authorities, the suspect said he was released from the Langkap Immigration Detention Depot some two years ago.
He had been surviving on odd jobs, including working as a garbage collector.
Members of the public also found a smart phone and a refugee identity card in his possession.
Wong, in his 50s, later told a Chinese daily that he had seen the suspect previously.
“He had come to our stall to buy vegetables.
“I have been selling vegetables at the market with my wife for more than 20 years.
“We never thought that such a thing could happen,” said Wong, who lodged a police report on the same day.
Video clips of the Rohingya being arrested by the father and members of the public have since been circulating on social media.
Netizens who posted the video clips warned the public, especially parents, to be alert, especially when taking their children out.
Local police could not be immediately reached for comment.
The girl was not physically harmed during the incident.