News from Lay Pheng about One Utama

Dear all,

You must have wondered why I asked of Carrie's help to send the following message to all of you. Please take serious note in what I am going to tell you here. I would say that yesterday was a lucky day to me, if not, I wouldn't be here alive to send this email out to you or to celebrate CNY open house to some of you who will be coming tonight.

I went to One Utama Shopping Mall yesterday after Tesco. Time was around 1pm. I parked my car at the old wing, B1 level near the Arena food court. I did a reverse parking and my car was indeed very near to the food court entrance. Those shoppers who went in and out can see me in full view. Exact parking location was D4, in 3rd or 4th plot where the car turn in. It was indeed very close to the entrance.

As I came down from my car, I saw these 2 malay young adults walked towards me. I did not bothered at all cos I thought they were shoppers who want to collect their cars. I then went to the trunk to check on a bottle of clorox i bought in Tesco cos I was afraid the liquid may be spilt during the driving. It only took me a few second to put up the clorox bottle and then I closed the trunk, I had not locked the car yet. Suddenly the 2 malay came very near me and took out a 1 foot long parang and pointed at me. I gave them my handbag. But that was not enough, they asked me to unlock the car and wanted me to go inside the car. They said "jangan bising, masuk kereta, cepat."

At that point I was struggling, the car was actually still unlock. They commanded me a few time to unlock the car, so in the moment of confusion, I pressed the button and I actually locked the car. They repeated their sentence asking me to unlock the car, and one of the Malay with parang was pushing towards the driver side. In panic, I pressed the remote, this time the car was unlocked. The malay with parang then openned the car door trying to push me in. I looked at the situation, due the driver's side car door was openned and there was another car parked beside my car, I only had a very narrow path to escape. Worse of all, I was afriad that half of my body might bang the car door and instead of running forward and out i would actually be pushed back to the robbers who stood beside me.

I prayed very hard in my heart. Canny Ong's case came into my mind. I can't go inside the car, I kept telling myself, that was the worst thing to do. I prayed and prayed then I looked at the robber with parang, I noticed that he was looking down somewhere, the other robber was standing next to him. I saw the narrow path, I knew I must somehow get myself out of the path. In a split second, I seized the opportunity and run, thank God, somehow I managed to squeezed thru the gap and run out towards the crowd. I did not know how I did it.

Many people saw what happened to me. There was a lady grabbed me and tried to clamed me down. I do not blame those people for not doing enough to help me cos everyone was in panic and with a parang the robber can harm me in situation like that.

My husband and I then went to lodge report, I then asked of Carrie's help to sent the following email first cos I did not know when I would be finishing lodging the reports with the relevant authorities. And some of you may be on leave today so you won't be able to reach me via handphone. All my money, mobile, credit cards etc in the bag were gone but my house keys which attached to the car key were still tightly clinched in my hand (this was another fortunate thing). I was still badly shaken inside even now. We reached home around 6.30pm after lodging all necessary reports with Jusco Management and the Police.

Last night, we managed to talk to those top guns in the corporation and today we went into One Utama Jusco management office to view the CCTV. We all are in this together, we are trying to help out each other. Together with One Utama and Jusco management, we have formed a task force to look into this serious case of robbing and kidnapping. Our main purpose is to make the shopping mall safer to all the shoppers like you and me in the future. What have happened was luckily not worse than what it can be...with all the "if"s... Inspector Zulmairi from Mutiara Damansara told us that he has been handling One Utama Shopping Mall cases for long time and this was the first time he came across such serious case.

Please be extra careful and taking extra precautious wherever you are. I prayed that God keep us safe under His wings. I actually prayed on the breakfast table that morning asking for God's protection from danger, harm and accident. God was listening.

To all of you who will be out with family and friends celebrating CNY or birthdays or gathering, please watch out for each other. God bless you all.

Lay Pheng
(New mobile: 012 493 0237)

P/S: Do not spread news and tell people not to go One Utama cos that was not my intention and spreading news like this will not help the situation. We will work together with the corporation to push the security level to a higher notch. Prevention and tighter security measurement are what we are after for. We do not want this to happen to any of you or your family member. I am fortunate enough to be out of the situation, next victim may not be so lucky.