KULAI, May 23 — A 23-year-old restaurant assistant was fined RM2,500 after he pled guilty at the Kulai Magistrate’s Court to committing mischief by throwing out a statue of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha that belonged to someone else in Taman Scientex, Senai here on May 15.
Magistrate Sharifah Maleeha Syed Hussin also sentenced the accused, Gabriele Jungkak Steward, to three months imprisonment if he fails to pay the fine.
According to the charge sheet, the accused had pulled out the statue of Lord Ganesha that was connected to a water fountain and damaged it before throwing it in the rubbish bin. The statue was reported to cost RM25.
For this, Gabriele Jungkak was charged under Section 427 of the Penal Code which provides for imprisonment of not less than one year and a maximum of five years, with a fine, or both.
In his appeal, Gabriele Jungkak said he threw away the statue because it was in his way when he was passing through the area.
He also admitted to throwing and burning other decorative religious statues at different locations and at different times.
Before the sentence was handed down, Sharifah Maleeha advised Gabriele Jungkak to learn to live in a community and respect the belongings of other people.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Edelynn Wong prosecuted.
Gabriele Jungkak was unrepresented in court.
On May 19, Kulai police chief Superintendent Tok Beng Yeow said police were looking for the person who threw a Hindu statue into a garbage bin after a 42-second video of the incident went viral on Facebook.
The issue had also created a stir as the statue was said to be a religious icon.
Police also received a report from a man regarding the recording of the incident at 4.30pm, the same day that the incident was believed to have occurred at 9am in front of the complainant's house.
However, the complainant said that the statue of Lord Ganesh was placed outside the yard of his house for decorative purposes and not for prayers.