KFC fight video sparks racial controversy

Chua Yini

A viral video that captured a brawl involving a customer and staff at a Malaysian KFC outlet has sparked allegations of racism online.

In a press briefing on Thursday, the Chinese customer, graphic designer Danny Ng, with the help of Malaysian Democratic Action Party Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng, denied making racial slurs during the incident.

Some of those who viewed the video of the brawl posted on Youtube accused the 26-year-old of provoking the Malay staff in the Shah Alam outlet with racial comments, even though the grainy video (shown below) did not display any elements of racism.

The 28-second clip attracted more than 100,000 views online. It shows the brawl, which occurred in the middle of the crowded restaurant while other customers stood there and recorded the scene. A few were caught smiling on camera.

KFC staff caught on video attacking a customer.

In the press conference, Ng said that the incident started when he went to redeem his KFC vouchers at the outlet on Monday evening with his wife and sister.

The trio arrived at about 10pm but there was a long queue. After waiting for about 45 minutes, the staff announced that the supply of chicken had run out. The upset customers, including Ng, then complained, which provoked the kitchen staff to come out and behave in an aggressive manner. 

Ng then asked to see the manager, but he said the staff made rude comments instead. As the exchange became more heated, Ng’s wife claimed that she saw an employee carrying steel bars and pulled him out of the restaurant.

However, Ng refused to let the matter go and returned to the outlet with his handphone to take photos and record names for a formal complaint. Mayhem broke out when a staff member ran out from the kitchen and attacked him. Ng claimed that the man “grabbed his neck from behind”, punched the back of his head and kicked him.

“I won’t go back to KFC, not for a long time. I’m mentally distressed,” he said at the press conference, according to The Amo Times.

Ng’s wife also claimed that the same man who attacked her husband accidentally kicked her when she attempted to break up the scuffle.

 “(The man was) facing me with an angry face, looked like he wanted to beat me up, too,” she said.
According to Malaysian paper The Star, a spokesman from the company had confirmed three employees had been suspended pending investigations.