Five activists charged with violating CMCO following arrests outside Ipoh hospital

The five activists are seen in handcuffs at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh June 4, 2020. — Pictures by John Bunyan
The five activists are seen in handcuffs at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh June 4, 2020. — Pictures by John Bunyan

IPOH, June 4 — Five activists were charged at the Magistrate’s Court here for defying the conditional movement control order (CMCO) by gathering in front of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HRPB) for the rights of government hospital cleaners.

The five were National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services’ (NUWHSAS) executive secretary M. Sarasvathy, 67, who is also a Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) committee member; NUWHSAS officials L. Danaletchumi, 35 and V. Santhiran, 52; PSM member P. Jody, 61; and PSM activist C. Subramane, 60.

All five pleaded not guilty when the charge was jointly read in Tamil before Magistrate Noor Azreen Liana Mohd Darus.

The five were accused of gathering for social purposes in an infected area.

They were accused of committing the offence at HRPB on June 2 at around 12.10pm.

All five were charged under Rule 7(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 and punishable under Rule 15(1) of the same Regulations, which carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both.

The five activists were accused of gathering for social purposes in an infected area. — Pictures by John Bunyan
The five activists were accused of gathering for social purposes in an infected area. — Pictures by John Bunyan

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor K. Darinee requested bail of RM1,000 for each accused.

Counsel K. Kunasekaran and KS Bawani, who represented all five accused, requested that they be set on bail without payment, citing that all of them do not have a stable income and are dependent on their family members or donations received from the public activity.

“All of them are public activists and have a good reputation in society. They have no criminal record,” said Bawani.

Meanwhile, Kunasekaran said that the five gathered at the hospital for a good cause, which is to present a memorandum on behalf of the NUWHSAS members, who are mostly hospital cleaners, to their employer.

However, Magistrate Noor Azreen Liana set bail at RM1,000 each with one surety and fixed July 9 for mention.

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