ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Shots fired at Myanmar party chiefs in busy KL street
Publication Date : 08-02-2014
Two Myanmar political party chiefs escaped what appeared to be an assassination attempt on a busy street in downtown Kuala Lumpur, as a gunman fired at the car they were in.
Rakhine Nationalities Development Party chairman Aye Maung and Arakan League for Democracy party chairman Aye Thar Aung were not hurt in the attack on Wednesday night.
According to national news agency Bernama, the two men were shot at while travelling in a BMW with two other Myanmar nationals after having visited Plaza Low Yat, a mall known for selling electronics located in the Bukit Bintang shopping enclave.
Bernama said a gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle fired several shots at the vehicle along Jalan Alor, at a time when eateries on the street were packed with people having supper.
The two men on the motorcycle drove off after the shots failed to hit the vehicle, Bernama reported.
"Following the shooting, the car with Dr Aye Maung sped to a hotel in the capital before a police report was lodged," the news agency reported, quoting an unnamed source.
The report noted that initial investigations indicated the gunman and his accomplice could be Myanmar nationals.
Dr Aye Maung reportedly came to Malaysia on Thursday last week and travelled to Penang and Selangor to meet ethnic Myanmarese Rakhine Buddhist groups living in those states.
It is not known if Aye Thar Aung was with him throughout the trip.
Criminal Investigation Department deputy chief Khairi Ahrasa said the police are investigating.
Almost half a million Myanmar nationals live in Malaysia. Many are migrant workers - both legal and illegal - at wet markets and construction sites.
Others are refugees, including Rohingya Muslim minorities and the Chins, a Christian minority, who fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Last year, clashes between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar left hundreds dead and displaced thousands of civilians.
Dr Aye Maung, a veterinarian, chairs a Myanmar government commission investigating the ethnic clashes that spilled over into neighbouring countries, including Malaysia.
The wave of violence around Malaysia has left at least four Myanmar nationals dead and eight others injured, prompting a massive police crackdown on Myanmar nationals here.