GRO sues over ‘urinating photo’


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Apr 2003

BY CHEN MEI LING

KUALA LUMPUR: A guest relations officer, who was photographed urinating in a lorry by a Rela member, has filed a RM5mil suit against the man and three others at the High Court here.  

Maslinda Ishak, 26, is naming Mohamad Tahir Osman, 40, Rela director-general, Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) and the Government as defendants in the suit filed at the civil High Court registry yesterday. 

She arrived at the court in Wisma Denmark here, accompanied by her counsel Karpal Singh and two others. 

In her statement of claim, Maslinda said Rela and Jawi officers raided a club in Jalan Imbi and arrested her at 11.30pm on March 21. She was then placed inside a lorry together with several others and were taken to Taman Maluri in Cheras.  

She said while in Taman Maluri, she asked the officers for permission to use a toilet but they scolded her and asked her to do so in the lorry. 

Maslinda said she then asked her friends to form a circle around her with a scarf, as she desperately needed to ease herself.  

It was at this point, she claimed, Mohamad Tahir suddenly opened the back door of the lorry, pushed her friends, pulled the scarf away and photographed her while she was in the midst of relieving herself. 

She said she was then freed unconditionally at 3.45am on March 22. 

Maslinda claimed that Mohamad Tahir's actions constituted a grave trespass to her person, causing her to suffer embarrassment, humiliation and severe emotional, mental shock and trauma. 

“The first defendant (Mohamad Tahir) acted in utter disregard and in contempt of my feelings and dignity,” she said in the statement of claim, adding that he abused and misused his powers as an officer from an enforcement agency. 

She said Rela and Jawi officers, who were involved in the raid, also breached their duty of care to her by enabling and allowing Mohamad Tahir to take the photographs. 

Claiming that she has suffered loss and damage as a result of the defendants' actions, Maslinda is seeking RM5mil in general, aggravated and exemplary damages. 

She wants interest on the damages awarded, costs and any further orders deemed fit and proper by the court. 

The summonses have yet to be served on the defendants. 

On April 16, Mohamad Tahir was jailed four months by a magistrate's court here after pleading guilty to photographing the woman with the intention of insulting her modesty. 

The magistrate had also ordered the photographs to be destroyed. 

Speaking to reporters outside the registry yesterday, Karpal Singh said he had written to the magistrate concerned requesting her to retain the photographs, as they would be needed for this civil suit. 

He said he had also written to the Attorney-General, urging him to appeal to the High Court against the jail term imposed on Mohamad Tahir.  

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