Tourism

Police arrest Russian “begpackers” over baby-swinging street performance

A Russian couple have been arrested in Malaysia after a video emerged of them swinging a four-month-old child around as part of a street performance in a popular tourist area.

The video, which was captured by Zayl Chia Abdulla at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, shows a man swinging his baby child around by their legs while a group of adults are seated on on the ground playing and swaying along to music, all in front of curious onlookers.

Abdulla claimed that people were cheering for the baby-swinging man to stop, “but he just pretended like nothing happened”.

“And police? They’re everywhere. But no one bothered, hence I share this,” he wrote in a comment on Facebook.

The video of the performance by the group has copped a wave of criticism online, with some branding the street performers as “begpackers” – a term used to describe Western tourists who play music or sell knick-knacks in the streets of southeast Asia to pay for their trips or to purchase their plane ticket back home.

Local police have since announced that they have managed to arrest a 28-year-old Russian man, along with his 27-year-old wife and the child at Jajan Raja Abdullah. The family arrived in Malaysia in January from Thailand.

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