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Bomb threat prompts evacuation of popular Johor Bahru mall, Malaysia reaffirms support for Palestine

On 14 October, a bustling shopping hub in Johor Bahru was forced to evacuate due to an anonymous bomb threat. The caller, claiming foreign identity, had threatened to plant a bomb.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reaffirmed Malaysia’s unwavering backing for Palestine, undeterred by the threat.

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MALAYSIA: On Saturday (14 Oct), the Mid Valley Southkey Mall, a popular shopping destination in Johor Bahru, had to evacuate its visitors in response to a bomb threat, as authorities suspected potential harm to the public.

The threat, believed to be motivated by geopolitical concerns, was conveyed by an anonymous caller.

Approximately 9,000 individuals were safely evacuated from the shopping centre.

The Head of the South Johor Baru District Police, Raub Selamat, disclosed that the mall’s management received a threatening phone call around 6:00 PM on Saturday (14 Oct).

The anonymous caller, who identified as a foreigner, threatened to plant a bomb within the premises. The individual reportedly demanded that Malaysia cease its support for Palestine in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Law enforcement subsequently initiated the evacuation process.

In a Facebook post made on Saturday (14 Oct) evening, the mall’s management confirmed that they had received a “security threat report through an anonymous phone call.” Following the instructions of the authorities, the affected areas were evacuated as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of patrons.

The police, led by Johor’s Police Chief, Kamarul Zaman Mamat, conducted a thorough search of the mall and established a security perimeter extending 100 meters to prevent unauthorized access.

Additionally, security footage from the mall’s CCTV cameras was scrutinized as part of the investigation. Authorities have urged the public to remain calm during this time.

DPM Zahid reaffirms Malaysia’s support for Palestine despite bomb threat

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reassured the public that Malaysia would continue its support for Palestine, regardless of the bomb threat. Speaking after a party meeting in Melaka, he emphasized the government’s vigilance in handling threats.

“We do not have to be afraid of anything, not even threats (against support of Palestine). In fact, we are giving financial aid to Palestine. We will continue to support Palestine,” he stated.

Deputy Prime Minister Zahid also shared that Malaysia intended to donate approximately RM100 million to the Palestinian people, who are currently experiencing a military assault by Israel after Hamas militants broke out of Gaza and held Israeli civilians hostage.

In this image captured , Ismail Haniyeh, a senior figure within Hamas, extends greetings to Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, during Najib’s visit to Gaza City on January 22, 2013. (Photo: AFP)

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasized that Malaysia would not succumb to Western pressure to condemn the Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

Anwar noted that Western and European nations had persistently urged Malaysia to denounce Hamas but Malaysia’s policy was to maintain its relationship with Hamas, which was elected to lead Gaza freely.

Malaysia has long advocated for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and does not maintain diplomatic ties with Israel.

The incident at The Mall at Mid Valley Southkey has raised concerns about the security of public spaces and underscores the commitment of Malaysia to its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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