High Court dismisses drug abuser’s appeal

Fadley Faisal

The High Court yesterday dismissed a drug abuser’s appeal to revise the Magistrate’s Courts order regarding the sentence.

Last February, Muhammad Syafie bin Hasbi Chua @ Chua Kang Soon was ordered by the Magistrate’s Court to serve three years’ imprisonment and to settle a BND800 fine, or serve another six weeks in default of payment, after he pleaded guilty to five counts of consuming methylamphetamine; three counts of possession of utensils; and two counts of possessing 1.265 grammes and 13.4514 grammes of methylamphetamine.

Having been ordered to serve his sentence, starting in February when he was charged with the offences, Muhammad Syafie yesterday pleaded for Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong to substitute the decision for his sentence to commence from October 2018, when he was detained under the Criminal Law (Preventive Detention) Act.

“The applicant’s detention under the CLPDA is an entirely separate matter to the drugs offences under consideration, and there is no justification to order the sentence to commence on the date of his detention,” the Chief Justice said, adding that Muhammad Syafie’s contention is misguided.

The court went on to consider the fact that the defendant was serving one year upon conviction in August 2019, for concealing stolen property, when he was charged for the drug offence committed in 2009 and 2015. He had also been convicted in 2010, for similar drug abuse charges. The Chief Justice agreed with Deputy Public Prosecutor Pengiran Hajah Nor ‘Azmeena binti Pengiran Haji Mohiddin, who appeared for the respondent, that although the drug charges could have been brought together with the concealing stolen property charges, it would be inappropriate to order concurrent sentences as they involve separate and different offences.

Other than dismissing the appeal on finding that Muhammad Syafie has no arguable case, the Chief Justice commented that the Magistrate’s Court could have ordered the sentence to commence upon the expiry of his existing sentence.