Labourer charged with defiling surau

KLANG (Bernama) – A labourer was charged yesterday in two Magistrate’s Courts with two counts of defiling a surau and one of stealing deity idols last week.

Helmee Othman, 38, was first charged before Magistrate Roslizi Sulaiman with defiling Surau Sabilul Huda in Taman Pandamar Indah, Port Klang, between 4pm and 4.15pm on February 20.

He was also charged before Roslizi with stealing deity idols belonging to one Cheong Lin Chai, 51, at a house in Pandaraman near here between 4pm and 9.30pm on the same day.

Before Magistrate Muhammad ‘Azzam Zainal Abidin, Helmee was charged with defiling the same surau between 2.30pm and 2.45pm on February 23.

Soon after the charge of defiling the surau was read out to him before Magistrate Roslizi, Helmee pleaded guilty but his lawyer, Nur Aida Md Zainuddin, applied to the court for her client to be subjected to a sanity test before accepting the guilty plea.

Labourer Helmee Othman, 38, was ordered to undergo mental examination at Rumah Bahagia Tanjong Rambutan Perak after he pleaded guilty to two separate Magistrate’s Courts on a charge of stealing deity idols and two charges of defiling a surau in Port Klang last week. – BERNAMA

The charge was under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such defilement as an insult to their religion.

The offence is punishable with a maximum jail term of two years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

Nur Aida said the court should first examine the level of sanity and reasoning of an accused because a normal person would not commit any act involving sensitive issues such as religious beliefs.

DPP Mohd Fairuz Johari said there was no documentary evidence at this stage to support the fact that the accused had mental problems but added that he would leave it to the court to make a decision.

Both sides used the same argument in the case of the alleged theft of the deity idols from the house of Cheong.