Monday, February 05, 2007

POP! POP! POP! doesn't mean fireworks

last saturday evening my hubby had to host an event, so i went out for dinner and some jalan-jalan with my parents at subang parade. we walked about a bit and shopped a bit and then headed to esquire kitchen for some food.

the place was crowded and it took a while before an outlet captain came and took our orders. i expected that it's gonna be awhile before we get served.

as we were chit-chatting we heard. POP pop POP POP pop!!! going on and on. i was wondering who was playing fireworks in the mall. fireworks (though they are illegal here) are often heard during the festive seasons in our country of a multi-cultural blend, especially during hari raya (a lot of little malay boys get injured or even worse, gets their limb(s) blasted off during the explosion of their home made fireworks), chinese new year and deepavali (or diwali). as the chinese new year is fast approaching, i didn't think twice of hearing fireworks, but just wondered why INSIDE a mall. as esquire kitchen is on the lower ground floor of the mall and situated right next to a side entrance, part of the restaurant has glass panes instead of walls, that's where we were seated, right next to the glass.

and then suddenly i see people running out of the building from the side entrance and some even ran into the restaurant. that when we started thinking that what we heard wasn't fireworks. there are a couple of goldsmith/jewellers one floor up. that plus the commotion = robbery. hence not fireworks, but gunshots.

our food arrived. i was very shaken up by then and had totally lost my appetite. i tried to eat a little bit as i'm pregnant and have to nourish the little one in my belly. the shutters of the outlet was finally pulled down, but there was this young chap (one of the restaurant's staff) who kept pushing up the shutters and going outside and coming back in, and out and in. was that idiot trying to show that he's a brainless brave or was he just too nosy for his (and ours) own good?? whatever he is, he's an ass of an idiot.

and then there was ANOTHER commotion. people were running down the outside staircase and back INTO building via the side entrance. that when everyone in the restaurant got really scared and ran to the back where there and actually walls intead of glass and huddled there. after a while, the captain told everyone that it was ok to get back to the seats and continue with our meals. all of us hesitantly went back to our seats (especially those of us who sat next to the glass panes!) some new customers came in and i could hear snatches of their conversation with others. there were a few robbers who started firing their guns all over the place, they were dark skinned (he thinks that they were indonesians, but as we all later found out, they were thai). another said that some guards were chasing after them and they ran outside the mall and hijacked a bus. guess that's when the people from outside started running down the stairs back into the building.

we finished our dinner and went to pay. at the payment counter i heard one staff telling another that two guards had died. as we walked out to the concourse area of the mall, we could see that all the outlets/shops of the mall had their shutters pulled down and there wasn't anyone around the concourse area, save for a few workers who are desperately covering up their little stores in the middle of the concourse. i sensed movement up above. i looked up and i saw the yellow police crime scene tapes at the goldsmith shop area. police personnel were working the crime scene. there were loads of people at the corridors of the upper floors all looking at the crime area. it was so quiet, even with that many people up there, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

here's the local newspaper account of the robbery

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