Mr Z was out with his teenage son in a shopping mall when the latter had a close encounter with a stranger who tried to befriend him and engage in small talk while the father was buying food. The encounter rattled Mr Z and he shares his account of what happened.

I was at Subang Parade this afternoon with my family. My wife had dropped my son and me at the drop-off area before she headed to the basement parking so that we may rush to get our quick lunch before going for our Friday prayers at the mosque across the road.

We decided to get some Subway sandwiches as it was convenient and we didn’t have to wait long for our food to be prepared. I promptly asked my son to reserve some seats for us to enjoy our lunch while I stood in line to order our food.

While in the midst of ordering our food, I noticed at the corner of my eye that a random stranger had approached my son who was reserving a table for us. I paid little attention at that time because the man looked like a typical 60-something year old trying to inquire something or even asking for directions in the shopping mall.

As I finished ordering sandwiches and was getting ready to pay for my food, I noticed that this stranger was showing some pictures on his mobile phone to my son who was at this point clearly annoyed and tried to get out of the conversation. I finished paying the Subway cashier and headed straight to my son but this stranger was already walking away from my son in the opposite direction.

When I asked my son what the man wanted, I found out that this stranger had asked my son to snap a quick picture of him against the Manhattan Fish Market behind as background; showed a picture of him with the current YDP Agong (even claimed that they were classmates) and proceeded to ask my son some weird questions like what was his ethnicity (he has mixed ethnicity from both my wife and I), how old he was and how my son should ‘get together’ with him to spend some time together etc.

He even had the audacity to offer his phone number to my son but at this point my son mentioned sternly that ‘my father is just here’ (at the same time when I had started walking towards him from the cashier). Shortly after my wife came along and we told her what went on minutes earlier. After our quick lunch I headed to the men’s room and to my surprise the stranger was standing somewhere there scrolling his messages while viewing some unknown pictures (hopefully none were taken of my son). I quickly snapped a few pictures of him before he left.

Afterwards we decided to report the matter to the security of the mall and they had been kind enough to take note of my complaint and alerted their security guards.

I find it very disturbing for a 60-something year old man to be stalking boys and that he had done it openly and had only left after my son had raised his voice to tell the stranger that his father was just 10 meters away. This person could be a pedophile or worse, an illegal organ harvester as his act of luring kids to follow him is evident from the way he approached my son.

For the record my teenage son is rather tall for his age i.e. standing at 170cm and is trained in some martial arts but I dare not think how it’s going to be if this person starts to approach younger kids with his suspicious intent.

I hope no one else will fall to the ill-intent shown by this suspicious individual. My son said that he was probably of Chinese descent but had tanned skin. – MR Z (Subang Jaya)

Note from the Editor: Subang Jaya OCPD ACP Wan Azlan Wan Mamat has been informed of this and police officers are on the lookout for this man. Parents with children are advised to keep alert at all times in public spaces to keep them safe from strangers.