Gems pawned to post bail

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 30 Jul 2005

JERTEH: Having pawned their jewellery and borrowed money to post bail on Thursday, 27 followers of the Sky Kingdom sect wasted no time returning home after spending a week in prison and in the police lockup. 

They were among 45 followers of the cult who were charged in the Besut Syariah Lower Court for not adhering to a state fatwa which declared the Sky Kingdom teachings as deviant. 

Mat Yaakob Ismail, 52, said he borrowed RM4,000 from a relative to post bail for his wife Wan Noriah Wan Ali, 51, and daughter Noraini, 20. 

“I’m lucky, but others have pawned their jewellery and are even going to sell their land to repay relatives,” he said. 

Lawyer Haris Mohamed Ibrahim said some of those released had lodged reports at the Pasir Akar police station. 

“They want the police to ensure their security as they are worried of a repeat mob attack,” he added. 

On July 18, some 50 people armed with petrol bombs destroyed many structures in the commune.  

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Hamdan Adnan urged the State Islamic Affairs Department and the police to “show the followers some respect.”  

“I have heard complaints that they were treated badly by the raiding parties and even in the police lockup,” he said. 

On Wednesday, Hamdan was presented a memorandum by a group of the followers alleging human rights abuses.  

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