JOHOR, MALAYSIA — Malaysian police have arrested a Singaporean man suspected of being involved in a heated argument with a Grab food delivery rider at a petrol station.
The incident, which occurred on 16 June, was caught on video and subsequently went viral on social media.
The Singaporean was taken into custody on Thursday at 2.30 pm at the Iskandar Puteri district police station in Johor.
Iskandar Puteri Police Chief Rahmat Ariffin confirmed in a press statement that the man had admitted to his involvement in the incident.
According to Chief Rahmat, the suspect does not possess any prior criminal record.
The case is currently being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, which carries a penalty of up to two years imprisonment, a fine, or both.
Chief Rahmat added that the investigation is ongoing as they seek additional witnesses and evidence.
The controversial incident came to light when a video of an argument between a Grab food delivery rider and two Singaporean men was widely circulated online.
The disagreement reportedly occurred after the men were reprimanded by the rider for purchasing subsidised RON95 petrol from a Caltex petrol station in Sunway City Iskandar township and storing it in a container.
Under Malaysian regulations, subsidised petrol is not permitted to be sold to foreign-registered vehicles. Such motorists, irrespective of nationality, are only permitted to buy unsubsidised RON97 petrol, which should be filled directly into their vehicle’s fuel tanks barring exceptional circumstances.
The video, uploaded by the Grab food delivery rider, who uses the TikTok handle, @matkibot, quickly amassed over a million views and fifty-one thousand likes before it was removed.
The footage also shows two auxiliary police officers attempting to calm the situation as the Singaporean men continue to engage in a heated exchange with the delivery rider.
One of the men, in an apparent attempt to escalate the conflict, retrieves a chain lock from his SUV’s rear compartment. One of them even brandishing a stick-like object from his vehicle’s boot. with demands for video deletion and shouts of, “We no wrong. We ask petrol kiosk ok, he say ok. Then he come here scold people.”
In the immediate aftermath, the police stated there was no proof that the two Singaporeans bought the highly subsidised RON95 fuel, but they were actively searching for the men.
The incident initially led to Grab suspending @matkibot, sparking widespread public outrage.
@matkibot, a 44-year-old man from Seremban now delivering for GrabFood in Johor Bahru, maintained his innocence in a video posted on his TikTok account following his suspension.
He stated, “I filed a report on June 16, and Grab suspended me yesterday at 6 pm. They reported that I took out a screwdriver to fight, [but] there’s CCTV, they can check it.”
The food delivery rider said he stood firm as he was “in the right”, while saying that his source of income had been terminated by the two Singaporeans and alleged that one Singaporean man involved in the confrontation had made a false report.
However, amid massive public backlash, Grab reinstated @matkibot, acknowledging their hasty judgment in the matter.
Despite his reinstatement, the incident continues to fuel public anger, with many criticising the actions of the Singaporean men and their treatment of the Grab rider.
@matkibot thanked Malaysians for their support in calling for justice and stood firm on his position that he was “in the right”.