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KUALA LUMPUR, July 21, 2015:

The racism that erupted as a result of a fight in Plaza Low Yat recently could leave a big impact on the economy and the tourism sector.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said speculation and rumours of racial tensions in Malaysia would deter investors and tourists from coming to the country.

“When racism is a big thing at the international level, it will affect the flow of foreign investments into the country.

“Eventually, it will negatively impact investments, income returns and the country’s economy,” he said at a press conference at Wisma MCA here today.

Liow, who is also Transport Minister, reminded netizens, especially users of social media and bloggers, not to make statements that might provoke outrage in the country.

He said the Plaza Low Yat incident was a large and important issue which could affect national harmony if not handled well.

“I hope that social media users do not indulge in speculations. If they do, they must take full responsibility.

“People must also be wise in evaluating key issues that were brought up as a result of the incident that involved theft,” said Liow, pointing out that it was not a racial issue, but rather a case of theft.

Liow said there must not be any rumor on racial conflicts as it would affect the country’s image and economy.

A brawl erupted at the plaza on July 11 after a 22-year-old youth allegedly returned for revenge after he was caught stealing by the employees of a mobile phone outlet.

Hours after the incident, the social media was a hive of activity with rumours that a man had been assaulted after he confronted a trader at Low Yat Plaza who had allegedly sold him an imitation phone.

On July 12, a large crowd gathered outside Low Yat Plaza and mob violence broke out in the evening.

Twenty-four people have been arrested over the riot that saw five people injured, including three Chinese media journalists.

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