Karl Jeffrey Ramesh, who was on the train at the time of the alleged groping incident, doggedly tracked down the elderly man whom he felt had been unfairly judged by keyboard warriors.
- Lauded for setting aside race and religion to uncover the truth
- Wants the person who uploaded viral video to make amends
The elderly man – known only as Pak Abu – gained notoriety through the viral video which showed him seated on a Sri Petaling line LRT train next to a sleeping young woman, whose legs were exposed by her shorts. The movement of Pak Abu’s right hand, which may or may not have grazed the young woman’s left thigh, has divided public opinion over whether or not it constitutes sexual harassment.
Passionately defending the elderly man throughout the raging online debate, Ramesh eventually decided to search for Pak Abu – and thanks to great persistence and resourcefulness, managed to track him down at a mosque in Sri Petaling on Thursday.
Agreeing to be interviewed on camera, the hard-of-hearing Pak Abu was asked by Ramesh whether he was aware of how huge the controversy surrounding the alleged incident had become – and the accusation hurled at him that he is a pervert.
“I was not aware of (touching the young woman’s thigh). It’s all defamatory,” he said, looking bewildered.
The frail senior citizen, looking every inch the ustaz, added that in any case, he considers the matter “settled” as a police report had been lodged on the matter.
The video of Ramesh’s discovery of, and encounter with, Pak Abu – which runs for more than 30 minutes – was subsequently uploaded to Facebook and has since garnered 145,000 views.
#misimencariPakCikAbu…. Live update 4…
Posted by Ramesh De Ram on Wednesday, March 7, 2018
(Ramesh meets Pak Abu at 21 minutes and 20 seconds.)
The video clearly shows how touched Ramesh – a non-Muslim – is by his encounter with the old man, as he struggles to hold back tears while leaving the mosque.
“I finally came face to face with the (man) who was accused by others (of wrongdoing). I’m relieved to get an answer from him,” he said.
Moreover, Ramesh developed a sense of protectiveness over Pak Abu, whom he noted has poor vision and struggles with health problems.
After interacting with Pak Abu, Ramesh says he could see how his movements – restricted and slowed down by old-age-related issues – could have been misconstrued in the context of the train incident.
Netizens have since showered praise on Ramesh for his act of kindness in giving Pak Abu a voice, saying that his efforts serve as a reminder to others not to share things on social media which could be defamatory, and unwarrantedly ruin someone’s reputation.
Commenters also lauded Ramesh for setting aside matters of race and religion in his quest to uncover the truth.
Ramesh had previously participated in a live Facebook session with celebrity ustaz, Ebit Lew, who expressed indignation over the accusations levelled against Pak Abu.
The young man had also vowed to track down the person who uploaded the viral video and urge them to make amends.
“I want you to step up, do a video, seek forgiveness from the pakcik. I only want that.
“If not, I will keep on looking for you until you ask for forgiveness from that pakcik, seriously. What you did is not right,” Ramesh said. – NST