PETALING JAYA, Oct 18 — Koh Tat Meng, the man at the centre of a video in which he pleads with Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) officers to stop manhandling a stray dog, pled not guilty when charged today with obstructing public servants in discharging their duty.
The 47-year-old print shop owner was charged at the Magistrate’s Court here under Section 186 of the Penal Code, which is punishable with jail up to two years, or a RM10,000 fine, or both.
He was released on bail set at RM2,000 by magistrate M. Barath, though deputy public prosecutor Siti Zubaidah Mahat had earlier asked for a higher amount at RM5,000.
However, Koh’s lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan asked for a lower bail, saying his client has a wife, three children and two aged parents to support.
Koh’s wife, Diong Mei Li, who was also present in court, acted as guarantor.
The incident captured on video that has since gone viral took place on October 8, when Koh attempted to persuade MPSJ officials to not use force in attempting to catch a stray dog hiding under a car.
In the video, one of the officers can be seen hurling the animal into their van, where it remained motionless.
Due to a verbal misunderstanding where Koh tried to tell the officers, all of whom are Muslims, that Islam does not condone violence towards animals, he was then pinned against a vehicle and angrily told not to speak any further on the religion.
Koh was later picked up by the police and detained under later in the evening, when he was bailed by family members.
The subsequent firestorm of criticism after the video went viral led to an apology from Selangor Local Government, Public Transportation and New Village Development state executive councillor Ng Sze Han over the officers’ conduct.