Murphy’s law posits that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” and unfortunately something did go very wrong at the final day of Comic Fiesta 2017. For the uninitiated, Comic Fiesta is a yearly giant geek convention held in December that celebrates anything geeky and is one of the most famous and highly anticipated conventions in our region. So yes, Comic Fiesta is a big deal and the even bigger deal would be that this is one of those “of course, somebody is gonna ruin the fun for everyone” incident. This incident showcases the typical patterns of problematic douchebag jerks who can’t keep their hands off trouble for the sake and safety of everyone else.
So what exactly happened?
This year, Comic Fiesta 2017 was held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 16th to 17th December. Near the end of Day 2 of the event, an incident, dubbed the “Pepper Spray Attack” happened inside one of the convention halls (the entire Comic Fiesta event was divided into different sections/halls). In regards to the ‘chanting’ (from one of the above photos), if one spent some time at the park outside the convention centre, you would had heard unintelligible chantings from groups of guys from time to time. It can’t be ascertained what those chants (innocent or not) really meant though.
Once news of the incident went viral, Facebook went wild with rumours, assumptions and opinions.
The above photos showed Ms Farah’s updated eyewitness account and the comments section of her post, along with a posts from others on what happened. Among a sea of ‘fake news’ and baseless gossip, her explanation was one of the more comprehensive ones. Also, for sake of being factual, the ‘pepper spray’ in question was actually a bear spray. In addition to that, (to quote Ms Farah, “stalking him for 30 minutes just to make your ‘leader’ – who has harassed him online before – meet him and expect a peaceful confrontation”) it seems that the provoker(s) has been harassing and stalking Azzan (the victim) for some time online and decided to upgrade cyber harassment to physical harassment. Things are looking at best messy indeed when the victim(s) also has skeletons in their closet.
Additionally, two videos relating to the whole fiasco were posted, courtesy of Ms Catalina.
First video: Click here
The above photos featured the perpetrator’s ‘side of the story’.
Before any of y’all decide to play judge, one has to understand that another controversy surrounding this ‘bear spray attack’ was the fact that Azzan is a notorious and reviled figure among the local cosplay community due to his perverse behaviour towards womenfolk. He possesses his fair share of haters and despite that, he managed to slip into the convention unnoticed with a freaking bear spray, pepper spray, knife, metal baton and paintball gun (according to Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Shaharudin Abdullah, as reported in Malay Mail Online), an action that has certainly raised a few eyebrows in addition to whittling at the credibility of Comic Fiesta’s safety measures. What if the knife was used to fend off or attack someone? One can only guess what will happen if a lunatic starts waving a knife around.
The incident happened just this weekend, but 4chan already had a page dedicated to said incident, shedding some light and dirt on the past misdeeds of Azzan.
The above simply shows a few screenshots from the 4chan page; though please be mindful that the line between lies and truth is kinda murky in said page. We have also contacted Comic Fiesta to seek clarification (without the real truth, the blame game can be played forever) in regards to this incident but at press time, we have yet to receive any replies from them.
If you have decided to play Batman or Detective Conan and comb through any and all posts relating to this ‘bear spray attack’, you would have noticed that the recurring and underlying themes and keywords that keep making their guest appearances are sexual harassment, bullying and provoking. It goes without saying that these themes paint a pretty clear and dreadful picture of our local community. Decency, civility and common sense were obviously thrown out of the window and unfortunately, for a lack of better phrasing, bad sometimes does triumph over good, evidently seen in how some folks treat others.
It was also very apparent that the provoked party and the party doing the provoking are both in the wrong, irrationally and intentionally acting out on something that caused trouble for everyone. Thankfully, nobody was seriously harmed. But, instead of pondering over ‘what ifs’, and doing some ‘no action, talk only’ chit-chat, Malaysian ACG event organisers should be more stringent with their security measures to fight against sexual harassment and safety concerns. Infamous scumbags should be blacklisted and dealt with a ‘permaban’ sentence while security bag checks should be taken more seriously in addition to employing more staff/volunteers and setting up warning signs around the event to help deter theft, harassers, violence, and any sort of unsolicited behaviour. Please do not take the ‘better to be safe than sorry’ phrase for granted, lest we really want bad things to happen perennially.
Most of us con-goers just wanna have fun and enjoy our time attending geeky events. Therefore, let us all be decent human beings so that everyone has a great time too! Last but not the least, we can do better and be better.
Note: This article will be updated accordingly with any new developments. Also, if you have any new information pertaining to this incident, do reach out to us by dropping us an email (Editor@thelevel.my).