Court dismisses guilty plea by man who displayed King's picture during KKB polls


SHAH ALAM: The High Court has dismissed a guilty plea by an unemployed man who was charged with displaying a picture of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, during the recent Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election campaign.

Judicial Commissioner Dr Wendy Ooi Su Ghee dismissed P. Ramasamy's guilty plea on the grounds that he did not understand the effect of pleading guilty.

She decided the matter after allowing a review application by the 66-year-old, against his guilty plea when charged with the offence at the Kuala Kubu Baru Magistrate's Court.

"The applicant pleaded guilty without qualifications. This can be seen from his mitigation where he repeatedly addressed the court (saying) 'I don't know', I had no intention.

"By raising such mitigation, (it) shows the applicant did not appreciate the essential ingredient of the offence charged... It is the court's findings that the applicant did not understand the nature and the consequences of the charge to which he pleaded guilty.

"Otherwise, he would not have mitigated in that manner," she said on Thursday (May 23), ordering the case back to the Magistrate's Court for trial.

At today's proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ainul Mardhiyah Mohd Ali appeared for the prosecution while Ramasamy, who was not in court, was represented by lawyers L. Pavitra and Harsimranpreet Kaur.

On May 6, Ramasamy pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to one month in jail and fined RM3,000, in default 10 months' imprisonment, for the offence.

Ramasamy, who was unrepresented, was ordered to serve the jail sentence from the date of arrest on May 4.

He was charged with displaying a picture of the King and carrying a Pakatan Harapan banner around Taman Bukit Bunga at 5.40pm on May 4.

The charge, framed under Section 4(A)1 of the Election Offences Act 1954 for malicious intent, provides a jail term of not more than five years or a fine of not more than RM10,000 or both. – Bernama

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