Thursday, 16th August, 2001

Business Not As Usual After Labuan Riot
By: Sohan Das

Labuan: The island's Mega Shopping Carnival seems to be in "tatters", at least for now, because even though seven of the nine outlets affected by the Sunday rampage managed to re-open for business Monday night, it was business not as usual for them.

According to the proprietor of one outlet Benard KS Wong, "the collection for some outlets was a meagre RM200 or more, hardly sufficient to meet the costs of the day."

He said the reason could be that though the situation was back to normal "many preferred to stay at home instead of risking out."

He said not many seemed aware that army personnel themselves not wishing further trouble had stayed in barracks and "there was noticeably fewer people on the roads on Monday night."

The nine pubs whose premises were attacked on Sunday midnight were Unchained Melody, Liverpool, Ginza MTV, Ginza Family Pub, Victory Billiard, Golden Cafe, Pop-in, Fun Pub and Pink Cafe.

About a dozen others escaped the rampage as when they heard something was amiss they closed the doors.

On the emergency meeting of the Labuan Entertainment Operators Association, Benard who is also the chairman of it, declined to comment saying he had been directed by some members not to disclose anything to be press.

But it is learned that the decision made during the meeting was to stay quiet for the time being and wait for the outcome of police investigations into the incident.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Malaysia Democratic Party (MDP) in a statement also criticised the action taken by the personnel and said there may be a need for more training in terms of discipline.