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Seven individuals who were previously discharged and acquitted on charges of disrespecting the ‘Negaraku’ have been ordered to enter their defence on October 28. ― Borneo Post pic
Seven individuals who were previously discharged and acquitted on charges of disrespecting the ‘Negaraku’ have been ordered to enter their defence on October 28. ― Borneo Post pic

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KUCHING, Oct 8 ― The High Court here yesterday ordered seven individuals, including a woman, who were previously discharged and acquitted from the charge of disrespecting the national anthem Negaraku, to enter their defence on October 28.

The High Court passed the ruling after allowing the appeal of the prosecution against their order of discharge and acquittal by the Magistrate’s Court.

Judge Datuk Zaleha Rose Pandin set the date after finding that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case against Leong Shaow Tung, 44; Kon Tai Keong, 38; Bong Sak Sin, 45; Andrew Chong, 34; Phang Ngin Pen, 65; Tan Kok Chiang and Kui Ping Ping, both 47.

On December 2 last year, the Magistrate’s Court here had acquitted and discharged all of them without being called to enter their defence, after ruling that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused.

Subsequently, around the end of 2020, the prosecution filed a notice of appeal against the Magistrate’s Court decision to discharge and acquit the seven individuals.

According to the charge sheet, the seven had on Sept 27, 2019, at about 7.15pm in Telang Usan Hotel, allegedly showed disrespect towards the national anthem in a public place by not standing up.

It is understood that they had allegedly refused to stand to oppose the then oil royalty issue that was allocated to Sarawak.

They were charged on October 11, 2019 under Section 8(3) of the National Anthem Act 1968 that was read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

The section provides for a fine of not more than RM100 or imprisonment not more than a month, if convicted.

All seven were represented by Arthur Lee’s legal team while the prosecution was handled by deputy public prosecutor Musli Abd Hamid. ― Borneo Post

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