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Monday, February 7, 2011

Shuhaimi pleads not guilty

Sri Muda PKR assemblyman claims trial to sedition charge
Monday, February 7th, 2011 13:08:00

Shuhaimi Shafiei

IN CONFIDENT MOOD: Shuhaimi arriving at court this morning — Pic: Hussein Shaharuddin

SHAH ALAM: Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here this morning to posting an allegedly seditious article in his blog (srimuda.blogspot.com) on the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor State Secretary on Dec 30 last year.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment up to three years, or both, on conviction.

If convicted, Shuhaimi also risks losing his seat.

Justice Latifah Mohd Tahar fixed March 28 for the mention date and bail was set at RM8,000.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria had initially proposed for bail to be set at RM20,000, due the severity of the offence.

Shuhaimi posted bail.

Among those who attended the proceedings were Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Pandamaran assemblyman Ronnie Liu and hundreds of Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

Suhaimi was represented by counsel Edmund Bon and Amer Hamzah Arshad.

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings, Amer said: "The charge against Shuhaimi is merely based on politics. Before this, we have seen many Barisan Nasional politicians issuing seditious remarks but they were never charged."

Shuhaimi allegedly committed the offence on Dec 30 last year at Pusat Khidmat Rakyat, 6/2, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla, R 31/R, Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, by posting a blog post titled "Pandangan saya berasaskan undang-undang tubuh kerajaan negeri Selangor 1959".

His blog allegedly questioned the consent given by the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah to the appointment of Mohd Khusrin.

On Jan 4, seven police reports were lodged against the blog. Three were made by Umno Youth, MCA and the MIC Kota Raja division while the other four were made by non-governmental organisations, namely, Selangor Bugis Association, the Klang Branch of Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia, Gabungan Anti-Penyelewengan Selangor and Pusat Komuniti Andalas.

On Feb 3, Shuhaimi surrendered himself at the Shah Alam police headquarters to help facilitate investigations. He was later released on police bail.

The following day, the Menteri Besar's Office Press Secretariat issued a statement declaring that the State government would not abandon Shuhaimi to face the charge and would support his stand to uphold justice.

The State government had said that it would give its full support to Shuhaimi and believes he has no intention of insulting the royal institution, it said.

Notable cases

• Shah Alam cow head protesters

THE infamous “cow-head” protest by angry residents of Shah Alam over the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple to their neighbourhood saw 12 protestors hauled into court. Evyza Ezhar Ramly, 32, and Mohd Azmir Mohd Zain, 36, were found guilty and fined RM3,000 each with the former sentenced to a week in jail. Four others were discharged not amounting to acquittal.

• Raja Petra Kamaruddin

Blogger and editor of online portal Malaysia Today Raja Petra Kamaruddin, known by his initials “RPK”, was charged under the act on May 6, 2008, for a posting on his website entitled: “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell”, which implied Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's were involved in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu.

• Karpal Singh

Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh of DAP was charged of sedition against the Sultan of Perak, after he allegedly said at a press conference on Feb 6, 2009, that legal action can be taken against the Sultan over the ruler’s role in the state constitutional crisis in 2008. The Kuala Lumpur High Court acquitted him last June 11.

• The Hindraf Trio

Lawyers P. Uthayakumar, 49, younger brother P. Waytha Moorthy, 44, and V. Ganabatirau, 37, leaders of Indian NGO Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), were charged under the Sedition Act for allegedly inciting a crowd through their speeches in Tamil on Nov 16, 2007 at a restaurant in Batang Berjuntai.

READ: Selangor government to bear Shuhaimi's legal cost

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