DAP man claims trial to sedition charges, including for cursing Umno

Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer (right) leaving the court room on August 27, 2014. ― Picture by K.E. Ooi
Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer (right) leaving the court room on August 27, 2014. ― Picture by K.E. Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 27 ― Seri Delima state assemblyman RSN Rayer was today charged with two counts of sedition, including one where he allegedly used the word “celaka” on Umno in the Penang state legislative assembly.

The state lawmaker, represented by lawyers Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh Deo and S.Raveentharan, pleaded not guilty to uttering the allegedly seditious words “celaka, celaka, celaka Umno” on May 20 this year at 9.19am.

The words in Malay is akin to “damn”.

Immediately after the first charge, Rayer was hauled off to a second courtroom where he was accused of uttering seditious words during a speech at a park in Island Glades at about 10pm on May 22.

He was also read an alternative charge of incitement for delivering the speech that contain the words “ini Umno memang celaka”.

The alternative charge, under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, carries a jail term of up to two years or fine or both.

For both sedition charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948, Rayer can be jailed up to five years or fined RM5,000 or both if found guilty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Razali Che Ani applied for a RM20,000 bail on the first sedition charge, saying the case happened within the state legislative assembly.

Rayer’s lead counsel, Gobind said the bail amount was too high, telling Sessions Court judge Zulhazmi Abdullah that his client was not a flight risk.

“He won't run away. He will come to court. He will fight it till the end,”Gobind said, pointing out that Rayer had turned up to court previously on June 19 as requested although he was not charged then.

The judge allowed bail at RM3,000 and fixed October 17 to hear the case.

Sessions Court judge Zanariah Hassan set bail for Rayer at RM3,000 for his second charge, also fixing the next court date on October 17.

DAP leaders and state executive councillors, including Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, were also present at both courtrooms in a show of solidarity for Rayer.

Lim later told a press conference that the party and its leaders will fight to free Rayer from the charges.