A Singaporean family travelling home from Malaysia on a Malayan Railway (KTM) train last Thursday thought their lives were in peril when a gunman boarded the train and threatened passengers.
They found out later that the ambush was part of an army training exercise.
The New Paper reported that Mr Peter Tan, 50, his wife Yvonne Ong, 40, and their four-year-old son Chun Xiang had boarded a KTM train in Pahang state at 2.45pm after visiting relatives.
The train was approaching Gemas Railway Station in Negeri Sembilan state at around 6pm when a man wearing a blond wig and sunglasses entered the carriage the family was in.
He then pointed a gun at the roof and shouted in Malay for passengers to place their hands behind their heads. At one point, the gunman pointed his firearm at Mr Tan's head.
'I initially thought that it was a robbery and I was prepared to give him everything for the safety of my family,' Mr Tan, an electrician, told The New Paper.
'But when the gun was pointed at me, my mind went blank.
'I was trembling and afraid that he would open fire. I will never forget that moment.'
The gunman ran off the train when it stopped at the station. Mr Tan said four soldiers dressed in full protective gear entered the train minutes later and appeared to be searching for the gunman.
Passengers realised it was an army exercise only when they saw the gunman chatting with army officers later.
Mr Tan and his wife said passengers did not receive any explanation after the incident or any announcements prior to it.
A KTM spokesman confirmed with The New Paper that the Malaysian army had conducted an annual exercise during that time. He said passengers were not informed in advance so as to make the exercise as realistic as possible, and apologised for not notifying them.
A spokesman for the Malaysian Ministry of Defence said the exercise was not announced to the public because it involved special forces and commandos. He added that no one was hurt in the exercise and no official complaint was lodged.