KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — A man seemingly assaulted by employees of a KFC restaurant in a video that went viral on the Internet has come forward to urge the public not to fan racial sentiments over the incident.
“I regret the allegations of racial sentiments circulated on the internet, and urge netizens to stop all these nonsense as they were not at the scene. (The public) should not make up the issue,” Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng told reporters today on behalf of the man at a press conference here.
Lim was speaking for Ng Chee Fei, whose February 6 attack was recorded and uploaded to video sharing site YouTube.
According to Ng’s lawyer, Eric Tan, “not enough chicken”, “a 45-minute queue”, coupled with “grouchy KFC employees” had led to the victim getting punched in the face by a member of the kitchen staff.
The incident has since drawn flak from the public, especially on social-networking site Facebook, with many criticising KFC as well as Ng, who was said to have provoked the staff with racial slurs.
“The customers waited nearly an hour for their chicken but were told that the stock had finished,” Tan explained.
“Of course the customers started to complain, but the staff was very grouchy and rudely answered: ‘Ayam sudah habis, apa you mahu lagi? (The chicken has finished, what else you want?)’,” he added.
Tan said this led to an exchange of words, “but no bad language was used by the customers”.
“(Ng’s wife) dragged him out when she saw some of the staff carrying a steel bar, but (Ng) was unhappy. He re-entered the outlet to take photos and jot down the names of the employees to make a formal complaint, that’s when the kitchen staff rushed out and punched him in the face,” Tan said.
“Ng was then escorted out by another KFC employee who told him to leave to ensure his safety.”
Tan added that the outlet manager was present, but “just stood in the kitchen, chatting with the rest of the staff”.
Ng denied raising racial sentiments but admitted to shouting and threatening the staff with a formal complaint.
“But this is no reason for physical attack,” he said.
“I did not hit back because violence is not the answer. Rumours that I was drunk when the incident occurred are also not true,” he added.
Tan said although the incident was “considered a minor offence and there was no legal issue”, it involved public perception towards the fast-food conglomerate.
“In this incident, we cannot deny that KFC has a problem with their service. They should have rectified the problem and comforted the customers,” Tan said.
“This should not have happened especially from a big company like KFC. This is the focus of the issue. We do not want this to happen to us.”
Ng last night lodged a police report on the incident. A police officer had told Ng not to approach any political party for assistance in the spirit of 1 Malaysia.
* The following YouTube video of the alleged assault has not been verified.