Seven plead not guilty to disrespecting ‘Negaraku’ in Kuching

Participant waves the Malaysian flag during the National Day celebrations at Dataran Putrajaya August 31, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Participant waves the Malaysian flag during the National Day celebrations at Dataran Putrajaya August 31, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUCHING, Oct 11 — Seven individuals comprising a woman and six men pleaded not guilty in the Magistrates Court here today, to a charge of disrespecting the national anthem, Negaraku, on September 27.

The allegation against Andrew Chong, 33, Kon Tai Keong, 37, Leong Shaow Tung, 43, Bong Sak Sin, 44, Tan Kok Chiang and Pui Ping Ping, both 46, as well as Phang Ngin Pen, 64, is that they did not stand to attention while the Negaraku was played during a fundraising dinner, held at a hotel on Jalan Ban Hock on September 27, at 7.15pm.

They were charged under section 8 of the National Anthem Act 1968 which carries a maximum penalty comprising a RM100 fine or imprisonment of one month.

Magistrate Zubaidah Sharkawi fixed November 11 for case management and allowed bail of RM1,000 with a surety, for each of the accused.

On September 29, a video which went viral on social media, displayed a group of people believed to be members or supporters of the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) activist group, who were seated while the Negaraku was played at a function.

According to a media report on September 30, the group’s spokesman said they had acted as such, to protest the federal government’s decision not to provide the state with a 20 per cent royalty for its oil reserves. — Bernama

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