China tourist in M'sia allegedly extorted S$60 by police asked to come forward

She claimed the police extorted RM200 from her.

Hannah Martens | April 06, 2023, 07:12 PM

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A Chinese tourist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, took to Xiaohongshu around Mar. 31, 2023, claiming she was stopped by the police who allegedly "extorted" RM200 (S$60.11) from her when she failed to produce her passport.

The video, which apparently went viral on social media, has since been deleted from Xiaohongshu.

According to The Star, the Malaysia-China Friendship and Mutual Aid Association has urged the tourist to come forward so that the association can provide assistance and "get to the truth".

What went down

In the video that has made its way onto Twitter, the woman shared that she was having dinner at a restaurant with a friend who is based in Malaysia.

After dinner, around 11 pm, the woman got into a cab with her friend.

While on the way to their destination, the cab was stopped by a policeman, and he knocked on the window.

In the video, the police officer was carrying a gun.

The policeman asked to see the identification of both the woman and her friend.

The video immediately cut back to the woman talking.

She elaborated that she told the policeman that she was from China. He then allegedly asked for her passport, to which she replied that she had left her passport back at the hotel but could provide other forms of identity.

The policeman allegedly refused all other forms of identification, stating that he wanted to check for the entry stamp into Malaysia on her passport. If not, he claimed that she would be taken to the police station.

At that point, the woman claimed to surf the web and began to call the different numbers to the Chinese embassy, but no one answered. She then provided screenshots of the calls made to three different numbers.

After that, the driver of her cab told the woman that the policeman wanted money, but she did not have any cash on her.

The driver then said he would lend her the money and gave her RM100 (S$30.16).

The policeman allegedly said, "cannot", and the driver handed over another RM200 (S$60.32).

She claimed that the policeman requested another RM100 (S$30.16), and that is when her friend piped up.

The friend conversed with the policeman in Malay, advising the Chinese woman to keep quiet.

The woman claimed that once the policeman realised they had no cash, he took RM200 (S$60.32) and let them go.

The friend then explained that in normal circumstances, the police would escort them to an ATM to withdraw cash. If not, they would be brought to the police station to stay for one night.

"If your skin tone is like ours, on the fairer side, and you look decent, you will be physically or verbally harrassed by the police," she claimed.

Her thoughts and reflections

The woman ended her video with her thoughts and some questions.

Firstly, she learned to always carry her passport with her no matter where she was. She claimed to have visited over 20 countries and studied in the UK, but only when she was in Malaysia did she realise carrying her passport around was a "thing".

She shared that she feared losing her passport if she brought it everywhere.

Secondly, if she encountered danger in a foreign country, she questioned who she could rely on for help.

"The local police cannot be trusted, and the Chinese embassy was not answering my calls," she ranted.

Lastly, she wondered what would happen if she was not with her friend then, questioning where the police would have taken her and whether her safety could have been guaranteed.

"And what if those people aren't really policemen?" She questioned.

The video only shows one side of the story

Malaysia-China Friendship and Mutual Aid Association advisor Datuk Seri Michael Chong said that the footage of the incident only showed one side of the story, The Star reported.

At a press conference in Wisma MCA on Apr. 5, Chong stated that it was "vital she come forward and explain the matter, including giving a statement to the police".

Chong also shared that the incident had "tarnished" Malaysia's reputation, and it was "important to hear the actual story", said The Star.

"The viral video is filled with allegations without any proof," Chong said.

The incident has caused considerable stress and anxiety in both Malaysia and China, Chong stated, and the police have assured him that stern action will be taken against "bad apples".

"The tourist has nothing to fear as all we want to do is assist her," Chong said.

Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman Tan Sri Tan Kean Soon said at the press conference that it was important for the issue to be addressed due to the distress it has caused.

Tan stated that while he was in Beijing as part of the Malaysian delegation that visited China recently, many people asked about this incident.

Discrepancies in her story?

It seems logical that when faced with trouble as a foreigner in another country, the first thing you should do is call your embassy.

A quick Google search will lead you to the contact number of the relevant agencies -- or better yet, store the number in your phone before you travel.

For the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, three numbers are listed on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China's website that one could call.

In her video, the woman provided three screenshots of calls placed to three different numbers that she claimed were to the Chinese embassy.

However, two of the three numbers do not belong to the Chinese embassy in Malaysia. Rather they belong to restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.

Screenshot via Twitter and Google Maps

Screenshot via Twitter and Google Maps

Curiously, the timings of the calls for both these numbers were on two different days and early in the day.

The third number she dialled could be another number belonging to the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, as it is found on the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, but she did not key in the country and area code.

This call was placed on Mar. 23, 2023, at around 11:08 pm, which would fit her story.

Screenshot via Twitter

Screenshot via Google Maps

Screenshot via Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia

Top photos via Twitter