Two Perak Pakatan leaders plead not guilty to violating MCO SOPs last year

IPOH: Two leaders from Perak Pakatan Harapan pleaded not guilty in a Magistrate’s Court here for flouting the standard operating procedure by participating in a gathering during the movement control order in August 2021.

Perak DAP Youth secretary Tiw Tee Siang, 29, and PKR’s Parit division vice-chairman Muhammad Sheith Abdul Haris, 36, who were charged separately, claimed trial to the charge before Magistrate Noor Hafiza Ishak on Friday (July 29).

According to the charge sheets, both of them had, on Aug 2, 2021, at about 4pm at a traffic light junction at a crossroad on Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, allegedly attended a gathering despite a direction by the Health Ministry’s director-general not allowing such gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The offence, under Regulation 11(2) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures in Local Areas of Infection), is punishable under Regulation 18 (1) of the same Regulation which carries a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, upon conviction.

Tiw, who is also the political secretary to Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh was represented by A. Sivanesan, who is also DAP’s Sungkai assemblyman, while Muhammad Sheith was represented by Khairul Anuar Musa.

Deputy Public Prosecutor NM Moganaraj Mithra prosecuted.

Moganaraj asked the court to fix bail at RM4,000 each for both the accused.

Sivanesan, during mitigation, asked for bail at RM1,000 stating that his client had cooperated fully with the police during investigations, and the question of his absconding does not arise.

Khairul, during mitigation for Muhammad Sheith, said his client was a trader who earned RM2,000.

“My client has six children, and is taking care of a father with heart issues.

“Bail is to ensure that he attends court proceedings, and my client has given his full cooperation, and I request the court to set bail at RM1,000,” he said.

Magistrate Noor Hafiza set bail for Tiw at RM1,500 with one surety, and RM1,000 for Muhammad Sheith.

She also fixed Aug 17 for mention of the cases.

The gathering was apparently held at that time urging then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down.

Also present at the proceedings were Wong, Canning assemblyman Jenny Choy, Menglembu assemblyman Steven Chaw, and PKR’s Simpang Pulai assemblyman Tan Kar Hing and Teja assemblyman Sandrea Ng.

Wong told reporters outside the court that there were double standards in prosecuting such cases.

He claimed that several ministers had flouted similar rules in March last year to attend a wedding but no action was taken against them.

“I hope this case is dropped, but nevertheless we will fight it out in court if the case proceeds,” he added.