THERE is no other way to describe the brutal attack on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Sunday as anything else but an absolute shame.

Shame on those who perpetrated the violence and also shame on the manner the whole incident was handled by our security forces.

That a group of men could have unleashed such an assault on a diplomat at what is supposed to be one of the most secured places in the country is shocking to say the least.

What’s even worse is the attack happened after it was announced that security level at Malaysia’s main gateways, KLIA and klia2, had been raised since March.

The authorities had given an assurance that the public and passengers should not be unduly worried about security at the airports following the recent terror attack at airports in Istanbul and Brussels.

However, as the dust settles following the assault on the diplomat, questions are emerging as to not only how there was a lapse of security but also the manner airport police handled the incident.

To put it into perspective, those in charge of securing the airport let a group of nine or so men round up on a diplomat and almost beat the pulp out of him.

Because of it, the government has been forced to express regret and offer its sympathies to Ibrahim.

The government has also given an assurance that the authorities would investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.

A closed-circuit television camera recording of the incident has since emerged, where several men could be seen pouncing on the Sri Lankan envoy.

He could be seen cowering as the men unleashed a series of punches on his head and body.

Finally, when two policemen arrived, they meekly asked the assailants to stop beating the diplomat.

What happens after that is even more perplexing as we are told the assailants walked away scot free. It is only after news emerged that the victim was a diplomat that everyone started jumping to action.

It is shocking that such a lapse in security happened at KLIA. The attack on the envoy was not a random one. It had all the hallmarks of a planned and coordinated assault.

The assailants did not bump into Ibrahim at the airport and decided to have a go at him.

If such a brutal assault at KLIA could have been executed that easily, one can only imagine what would have happened if the group had been armed and stormed the airport to perpetrate even greater violence.

That no security personnel intervened quickly enough and no one managed to arrest them immediately after the attack must surely raise concern over the security lapse.

The police top brass has since come out to explain that no immediate arrests were made as the policemen wanted to avoid more chaos and that their immediate concern was for the wellbeing of the victim.

It is incomprehensible that such an excuse is being used to justify allowing those who commit a crime to walk away.

Whatever happened to all the extra security that was supposedly put in place at the airport?

Thankfully, police have since arrested five suspects — three of whom were detained in Sungai Siput and two others in Dengkil and Rawang. A manhunt is also on for another four suspects still on the loose.

Yesterday, Selangor police announced that they had set up a special investigation team to probe into the incident.

Apparently, police are looking into the backgrounds of the suspects, and other individuals and organisations who lodged 47 reports against former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit here.

The probe is to, among others,
determine if there were any affiliations between the complainants and the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organisation.

Selangor police chief Datuk Abdul Samah Mat yesterday said investigations revealed that the attack on Ibrahim was linked to the protests against Rajapaksa’s visit.

Whatever it is, this newspaper only recently raised how everyone seemed oblivious to the lax security at the entrance of KLIA where vehicles can be seen parking in no-waiting areas.

However, despite such exposes, it is clear from the attack on Ibrahim that contrary to all the assurances, security at KLIA is far from “already beefed up”.

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