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Shah Alam Temple: Six Cow-Head Protesters Charged With Sedition

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 09 @ 04:10:50 CDT

National: Politics
SHAH ALAM, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Six people who took part in the "cow's head" demonstration in front of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building here last month were charged with sedition in the Sessions Court here on Wednesday.

They are Ahmad Mahayuddin Abd Manaf, 36, Ibrahim Sabri, 43, Eyzva Ezhar Ramly, 31, Mohd Azmir Mohd Zain, 35, Ahmad Suhairy Zakaria, 30, and Mohd Hilmi Ni, 40.


They pleaded not guilty and asked to be tried when the charges were read out to them separately before Judge Hasbi Hasan.

Ibrahim and Ahmad Mahayuddin are charged with stepping on the cow's head, Eyzva Ezhar with bringing the cow's head, while Mohd Azmir, Ahmad Suhairy and Mohd Hilmi, with bringing the cow's head and stepping on it in the illegal assembly.

They are charged with committing the offences at about 2.25pm on Aug 28, and face a maximum fine of RM5,000 or up to three years in jail or both upon conviction under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.

They also face an alternative charge of wounding the feelings of Hindus by bringing the cow's head and stepping on it.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code which carries up to a year's jail, a fine, of both.

Ahmad Mahayuddin and Ibrahim are the chairman and deputy chairman respectively of Section 23 residents' committee who objected to the move by the Selangor government to relocate a temple from Section 19 to the area.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar requested that the accused be released on RM15,000 bail each with one surety.

Lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin, representing the accused, however objected to it, saying the amount was too high and would be a burden to all the accused.

He also said that his clients had given their cooperation to the police and that they had no intention of wounding the religion of others.

He requested that the court fix a bail of RM500 each but Mohd Dusuki objected, saying that the amount was not appropriate for such a case which received wide media coverage, numerous police reports and involved public interest.

Salehuddin objected and said that the accused should not be punished based on media coverage.

Hasbi later set a bail of RM4,000 each with one surety and fixed Oct 21 for the mention.

Ahmad Mahayuddin, Ibrahim, Eyzva Ezhar, Mohd Azmir, Ahmad Suhairy and Mohd Hilmi were later brought to the Magistrate's Court along with six others to face a charge of participating in an illegal assembly at the same place and time.

They are Jainudin @ Zainudin Md Yusuff, 67, Mohd Jurit Ramli, 39, Mohammad Nordin Zakaria, 63, Jamil Mohamad Isa, 40, Rahimuddin Md Harun, 39 and Azhari Shaari, 39.

They are charged under Section 27(5)(a) of the Police Act 1967 and face a fine of between RM2,000 and RM10,000 or a year's jail upon conviction.

Magistrate Norkamilah Aziz later released Ahmad Mahayuddin, Ibrahim, Eyzva Ezhar, Mohd Azmir, Ahmad Suhairy and Mohd Hilmi on a RM300 bail each with one surety, and the other six on a RM500 bail with one surety.

They posted the bail. The court fixed Oct 21 for the mention.

-- BERNAMA

********
The Star
Published: Wednesday September 9, 2009 MYT 2:51:00 PM Cow head demo: Cops asked to investigate rape threat against rep By LOH FOON FONG
PETALING JAYA: Women's and civil society groups want police to investigate the rape threat uttered against Batu Tiga state assemblyman Rodziah Ismail during a dialogue initiated by the Selangor state government to resolve the Hindu temple relocation issue in Shah Alam. The Federal Territory PKR Wanita chief Felicia Ling said they condemned those who allegedly said, “Rodziah, saya akan rogol you sekarang (Rodziah, I will rape you now)” during the meeting on Sept 5. Ling said that the police’s delay in taking action against the instigators late last month had resulted in another unruly incident. On Aug 28, certain Shah Alam residents protesting the relocation of a Hindu temple to their neighbourhood dragged the decapitated head of a cow, then stamped and spat on it. The cow is considered sacred by Hindus. Police did not take action at the time, but after public pressure arrested some of those involved on Tuesday. They were charged in court on Wednesday. To try and resolve the temple relocation matter, the Selangor government held a dialogue with residents last Saturday. However, the situation turned tense when some of the participants became disruptive and abusive. Honey Tan, a member of women’s group Empower, said that violence defeats the democratic process. “When they do that, it makes it more difficult for women to be in politics and to hold office,” she said. Tan said the threat could only be described as gender-based violence because it was targeted specifically at women. The threatening words were tantamount to criminal intimidation and those who heard it must make police reports as part of their civic duty and the police should investigate it, she said. Women’s Candidacy Initiative (WCI) member Jac Kee said the WCI rejected such tactics and behaviour in a democratic country, and those involved must be charged. “The creation of spaces and processes for open dialogue is a key principle of democratic participation, and these individuals aimed to shut down dialogue and push for decision-making in their favour through intimidation, aggression and threats of violence,” she said. She said Malaysians were fighting to eliminate rape and the threat uttered not only disregarded the national issue but perpetuated a culture of sexism, fear and violence in a democratic system. “This presents further barriers to women’s political participation and does great harm to the inviolability of our country’s democracy,” she said. Sisters in Islam executive director Dr Hamidah Marican also urged the police to take action against the “hotheads” to prevent a downward spiral into possible conflict and violence. “It is appalling that we have lost the ability to engage rationally, civilly and peacefully to resolve a problem,” she said. “Use wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious,” she said on how the Quran has explicit guidance on how to handle differences. “It is a disgrace to the community that such threats were made in the name of race and religion,” she said. Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said that women politicians tend to face such threats and they had to be taken seriously. Although there was no police report made, the police should investigate the incident because they are an independent force that upholds peace, she added.****** Section 23 residents accept alternate temple site By Neville Spykerman, themalaysianinsider.com
One of the protestors charged today remains defiant even as his neighbours voice their approval over the new temple site. — Picture by Jack Ooi
SHAH ALAM, Sept 9 — Malay-Muslim residents of Section 23 here who had opposed the relocation of a Hindu temple to their housing estate today said they have no objections to another alternative site being proposed by the state government. Resident Sharel Mohamad Nor said that although the new site is also in Section 23, it was acceptable because it was located further away at an industrial area. According to him the new site was 800m from the closest house. Sharel, who is a member of the Section 23 Action Committee formed to oppose the relocation of the 150-year-old Sri Mariamman temple, said he hopes the temple committee would accept the new site. The temple, which is now in Section 19, was once part of the Sungai Renggam rubber estate. Over the years the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) had developed the area around the temple for residential homes. No provisions were made for the temple which is now located in the middle of a Muslim majority area. On August 28, a group of 50 people marched to the state secretariat with a severed cow’s head to demonstrate their objection to the relocation of the temple to their neighbourhood. The incident resulted in widespread condemnation of the group because cows are sacred to Hindus. “I hope the Indian committee who had lodged police reports will also withdraw them, so this matter can be settled,” said Sharel. He said both Muslim and Indians were still living harmoniously together in Section 23 but admitted their ties had “chilled” because of the incident. According to Sharel, an event was being planned where both communities could gather to mend fences. Six residents today claimed trial to charges of sedition and illegal assembly while another six were charged with illegal assembly over the protest. Sharel was in court to support those being charged. With him today was Ramzi Ramli, a committee member of the pressure group, who confirmed that the new site was acceptable to Muslim residents of Section 23. However, he said they would not disband the Action Committee until the state government confirms the empty lot next to the Nitto Denko factory really is the alternative site for the temple. Ramzi today said he was surprised that bail was set at RM4,000 for the six protesters who were charged with sedition, in the Sessions court . Additionally, RM300 was set as bail in the magistrate court, where they were also charged with illegal assembly. Meanwhile, bail was set at RM500 for the other six protesters who were charged solely with illegal assembly. Ramzi said residents had to pass the hat around for donations to help those charged to make bail.

 
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