Sisters behind video about praying at mall stairwell given police warning for inflammatory comments

Video screengrabs

Two sisters have been warned by police today for making “inflammatory” race-related comments online, Channel NewsAsia reports.

The online comments came after a heated argument between the two women, both 28, and a mall security guard back in October last year. 

According to MustShareNews, Syahidah and Hirah Rostam were praying in a fire escape stairwell of Alexandra Central Mall when a security guard informed them that they were obstructing a fire exit, and reportedly instructed them to use a nearby prayer room instead.

The next day, however, the sisters returned to the same stairwell to conduct their prayers, CNA reported.

“When a security personnel again advised them to use the designated prayer room, one of them demanded to meet the security supervisor, and subsequently accused the supervisor of being racist by disallowing them to pray there,” said the police.

The sisters recorded footage of the tiff and posted the videos on Facebook. Although the videos have since been taken down, the clips are available to watch on MustShareNews

In their post, the sisters also included comments insinuating that all members of the security supervisor’s ethnicity were biased against their race.

Everytime Hirah & I encountered with police, security guards or authorities, they are always Indians who look down on us Malays or Muslims,” said Syahidah Rostam in the post, The Independent reported.

The police took issue with these comments. After an investigation, the sisters were charged with criminal trespass on top of making inflammatory comments online.

“The allegations the two women made were serious, but baseless,” the police said in a statement. “Such allegations can over time affect our racial and religious harmony. Obstructing a fire escape stairwell is also serious.”

The sisters were given a conditional warning as opposed to prosecution, meaning that their sentences can be re-examined if they re-offend within a 12-month period.

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