JOHOR BAHRU: Hundreds of shoppers were evacuated from The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey in Johor Bahru on Saturday (Oct 14) evening after a “security threat” was made, the mall said.
The management of the mall and nearby hotel received the report via an anonymous phone call at about 6.30pm, it said in a Facebook post.
“We were instructed by the authorities to evacuate the affected areas as a proactive measure,” said the mall.
The fire department and the police investigated the threat and completed a thorough search of the area. They found “no evidence of threats”, said the mall in an update on Facebook at 12.30am on Sunday.
“Following a comprehensive assessment, the Johor district police chief has declared the premises safe for the return of tenants, employees, guests and shoppers at 12.15am Oct 15,” it added.
It is unclear what the “security threat” was, although The Malay Mail has cited a suspected bomb scare.
Footage of the incident shared on social media showed crowds of people rushing out of the building, urged on by the fire department.
Crowds were seen milling outside at about 6.45pm, with police vehicles and fire engines also on the scene. What appeared to be a fire or emergency alarm could also be heard for at least half an hour.
People lined both sides of Persiaran Southkey 1 as they waited for the all clear to return, as many still had their vehicles parked inside the building. There were groups of families, many with young children.
CNA has contacted the local authorities for more information.
X user mybeautish said the fire and rescue department had dispatched its K-9 unit to the scene.
Another user, tiqazlkfl, said that she had been in a store when she heard police shouting for everyone to evacuate due to a “bomb”.
The mall, which is also connected to a hotel, is also a popular shopping destination for tourists.
The Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Bahru said that it was aware of reports that visitors to the mall and St Giles Hotel in Johor Bahru were asked to “evacuate temporarily due to alleged security and safety concerns”.
“Singaporeans in the vicinity are advised to exercise caution, monitor the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities,” it added in a Facebook post.