Malaysian police on Tuesday said they have detained two people on suspicion of bludgeoning a man to death after he reportedly posted negative remarks about a girl he had "friended" on Facebook. "The two men are in a police lock-up. They are being investigated for murder," a senior police official in the northern Kedah state familiar with the case said condition of anonymity.
Twenty-year-old Mohamad Amran Romli died in hospital Friday shortly after sustaining severe head injuries in an attack by two men believed to be brothers of the girl, the Malay language daily Berita Harian said.
The two men beat Amran with motorcycle crash helmets during the attack in an alley behind a supermarket in Kulim town in Kedah state, it said.
Local police chief Ghuzlan Saleh was quoted as saying that Amran had befriended the girl through Facebook, which is extremely popular in the mostly Muslim country along with other social networking and microblogging sites.
However, their online relationship eventually "turned sour" and the victim allegedly posted disparaging comments about the girl and her family.
"She then complained to her brothers who sought to resolve the dispute with Amran. They met behind a supermarket but an altercation broke out and the victim was hit on the head with crash helmets," the police chief was quoted as saying.
"It will take about two weeks before they are charged in court after a report is submitted to public prosecutors," the senior police official said.
A study by global research firm TNS last year showed Malaysians to be the most popular people on the Internet, with an average of 233 friends in their social networks compared with 68 in China and just 29 in Japan.