The 12 protesters involved in the infamous cow-head protest last year (SEE VIDEO CLIP BELOW) were ONLY fined RM1,000 each by the Shah Alam Sessions court today, after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of taking part in an illegal assembly.
The 12 protesters involved in the infamous cow-head protest last year were fined RM1,000 each by the Shah Alam Sessions court today, after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of taking part in an illegal assembly.
Four of them however were granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal from additional sedition charges by judge Hasbi Hasan, after the prosecution decided not to pursue the case.
The four - Ibrahim Sabri, 43, Ahmad Mahayuddin Abd Manaf, 37, Ahmad Suhairy Zakaria, 31 and Mohd Hilmi Ali, 41 - maintained their innocence and were supposed to go through separate trials to hear their cases related to the desecration of the cow-head - deemed offensive to Hindus.
The deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff decided not to submit further evidence in both cases as two other protesters, Eyzva Ezhar Ramli, 32, and Mohd Azmir Mohd Zain, 36, had already plead guilty to similar charges.after pleading guilty to an alternative charge of taking part in an illegal assembly.
The group were initially charged under Section 27(5A) of the Police Act 1967, but were offered an alternative charge under Section 143 of the Penal Code which carries a lower penalty of six months' jail or fine.
The group looked visibly relieved when Hasbi read out her judgment, though Eyzva and Azmir appeared expressionless, given the additional punishment meted out to them.
The 12 nevertheless proceeded to congratulate one another and their lawyers at the end of the trial, clearly happy that the whole affair had ended.
In a Reuters report, critics said the light sentences may further strain race relations between Muslims, who make up the majority of the country's 28 million population, and minority Hindus and Christians who complain of discrimination.
"Going (forward), this will become a political issue for the country's minorities and further reinforce their unhappiness," said James Chin, a politics professor at Monash University in Kuala Lumpur.
Read here for more in Malaysiakini
MALAYSIANS' RESPONSE TO THE COURT'S JUDGMENT.
Read here for more in Malaysiakini
- The cow-head protesters' actions were supported by some politicians, including the home minister. The punishment is too soft and will not deter such a crime again. Secondly, there's been a lack of transparency in this. I would like to know why the four have had their charges dropped. Finally, what about those who supported the protest openly, such as Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. If his actions were not illegal, the least he should do is to issue a public apology for his actions and swear not to repeat them in future.
- This must be the joke of the year. These guys played with fire, stirred up religious sentiments, instigated racial disharmony. They should have been sent to prison under ISA. The ISA should not be used against reporters and politicians, but against those who initiate racial and religious hatred. The rot starts from the court house.
- Regardless of the punishment, do you think they feel any remorse at all? The four who were found to be innocent congratulated each other publicly, presumably because justice was served when it came to them. But did they think about justice for the Hindus who had to face this ugly protest made against their right to practise their religion in that neighbourhood?
- Syabas, Barisan Nasional. Now we all know the government sanctioned punishment for insulting another religion and threatening violence. Hooray!
- What kind of justice is this - the four refused to plead guilty and they were set free? What kind of justice system are we practising?
- So this is the punishment? One week in jail and RM3,000 fine for inciting racial tension? If a pig-head were paraded in the streets the next time by some insensitive Chinese, the punishment would be just one week's jail and RM3,000 fine or just a RM3,000 fine?
- They were slapped with a fine only, no ISA, and even the charges were changed to allow a lower penalty. If this was done by non-Muslims, the whole case would be different. Well done, BN, this is your 1Malaysia.
- Only RM1,000 fine? Great, at least when Umno pays the fine for them, not that much of our taxpayers money will be siphoned out of the nation's coffers. This is classic eye-wash by the government. If we the rakyat remain ignorant and dumb, then rest assured that we'll all vote Umno again into power. Thereupon, Umno can continue to orchestrate some more cow-head protests and continue to let the kangaroo courts perform the eye-wash they're so great at.
- An absolutely disgusting verdict. Even in the face of compelling and irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing, the judiciary refuses to do justice. It is no surprise why FDI is in the negative. There is no justice for the non-Umno entities in Malaysia. Only by kicking out Umno will justice prevail once again.
- I am sure BN demanded this lenient fine. This will raise investors confidence as more FDI (foreign direct investments) will arrive to start up cow-farming to cater for higher demand of cow heads since the punishment for such acts are pretty reasonable.
- 1Malaysia, 2 systems. One for Umnoputras and one for others. Umnoputras can get away with murder. The rest will be severely punished, even with ISA. The rakyat are totally fed up. I will definitely want to see a change. If BN retains power after 13th general election, we may as well get ready to quit this country and migrate as we have no locus standi here.
- I studied 'civilised' law so that I can uphold justice. Now it seems to have been a big mistake because Malaysia practices the 'law of the jungle'.
- To all BN component parties except for Umno, are you blind to the insidious and slow cultural and religious genocide that has been going on for the last 30-plus years? Now we know that some people can trample on your religious icons, insult your religion and probably firebomb your house of worship and get away with a relatively light sentence of illegal assembly and disorderly behaviour.
- The kangaroo courts have again showed the rakyat the kind of twisted minds that sit on the judiciary. Everyone has a limit to condoning things, and this is the beginning of the end. This verdict is an insult to all those who profess the Hindu religion. Indians of the Hindu faith, do you still want BN to represent you?
- "Eyzva Ezhar was ordered to serve his week in jail after he completes his current jail time. He is currently serving time in a prison in Jelebu for a previous drug conviction ". So the 'defenders' of Islam are made up of the dregs of society, low-level scum found in the drains and back lanes of Lorong Haji Taib and Chow Kit.
- Just as everyone predicted, the Umno-linked-and-endorsed 'cow's head' mob were let off with nothing more than a silky caress on the wrist by the 'judiciary'. With their crimes amply documented in print, photo and on video, this pathetic verdict is the best that the court could come up with?
There really is no longer any point in saying that this makes a mockery of the Malaysian justice system - because there no longer exists a justice system to mock anyway. When such blatantly malicious and provocative actions are allowed to go unpunished - and are openly endorsed by the home minister himself - they merely add further proof (as if any more were needed) that Najib's '1Malaysia' is nothing more than a hypocritical public relations exercise and that Umno is nothing more than a mob of corrupt, racist thugs hiding behind the tattered fig leaf of pseudo-nationalistic ethnocentrism.
Extremists like Perkasa will now see this as an open license to further insult and inflame race relations.
- No wonder there is no racial equality in Malaysia today. These troublemakers are so lightly punished for a crime against social stability that it really makes a mockery of the entire justice system. I say shame on the judge and shame on those perpetrators for their insulting crime against the Indians. Imagine what would happen if a wild boar head is thrown and dragged to the front gate of a mosque?
- Far from being a deterrent, the sentence only encourages future behaviour like this.
- As expected.
- The protestors in the cow-head incident were just slapped witha small fine! To the Hindus, the cow is SACRED! By stepping on it, the protetsors were trying to look down on the sacred cow; and the religion that goes with it! Yet, there charges of sedition were dropped! Compare this incident with the seditious speech by one UMNO man in Penang. Nothing happened to him except suspension from UMNO while the news reporter from Sin Chew was locked up under ISA!" Protection for her ?"
- I am totally ashamed of our judiciary and home ministry and the people who helm it. These are criminals of the lowest level. These are the brutes who shd be under ISA. God save this country from bigots, extremists, thieves and liars in high places. Rest assured, God is watching. You shall burn in hell!!
- I am sure MIC especially 'UMNO thamby' could'nt wait to kiss the hands of these 4 holy "Cow Heads"! MIC you are just a BORN LOSER....
- So I assume, Najib, that cow head protesting is a small offense under the 1 Malaysia concept.
- The whole trial is an eyewash to show that something is done. Haven't the people expected the verdicts? Had the trouble-makers been from the other camps, God would have to help them! Don’t we know we have kangaroo courts in this Umno-led BN government?