SHAH ALAM, Dec 7 ― A former Information Technology employee was sentenced to 16 years in prison by the High Court here today, for causing the death of bank manager Syed Muhammad Danial Syed Shakir at the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban bound North-South Highway (PLUS) in a road rage incident four years ago.
Judge Julia Ibrahim ordered the sentence on Yew Wei Liang, 45, to start from the date of his arrest on August 10, 2019.
While delivering her verdict, Judge Julia said the court had taken into consideration the mitigating factors put forth, including Yew's background and his cooperation during the investigation, and the victim’s family’s impact statement.
“At the same time, the court has to emphasise the importance of public interest in such a case and mete out a deterrent sentence that will serve as a lesson to the public, because it started as a road rage case, being driven by anger and dissatisfaction and aggravated by the use of prohibited substances only invites bad consequences.
“The court also weighed the impact statement from the victim's family and this is indeed a great tragedy that has befallen and impacted all parties, either directly or indirectly,” she said.
In mitigation, Yew’s lawyer Wee Choo Keong applied for a six-year jail sentence for his client on the basis that he did not intend to kill Syed Muhammad Danial, and that it was more of an unfortunate outcome in a road accident involving both parties.
“The said accident was an unfortunate outcome which was brought about by the deceased. If the deceased had just driven away after the scuffle was dispersed by SP17 (prosecution witness), the deceased would still be alive today.
“It would be manifestly unjust and unreasonable for this court to place the blame for the deceased’s death solely on the accused’s shoulders when it is crystal clear that there was no premeditation or intention to cause death on the part of the accused, but instead it was a mere unfortunate accident for both parties,” he said.
He added that his client was supporting his wife and elderly parents, and as a result of his arrest and detention, his wife also suffered a miscarriage.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Zaizul Faridah Raja Zaharudin pressed for a stiffer sentence commensurate with the offence as there was a prevalence of such incidents in the country.
“This case had a significant impact on society and news about it went viral at the time. A stiff sentence should be imposed on the accused to teach him a lesson and make him an example so that people do not make the same mistake.
“The consequences of the accused’s failure to control his emotions should be a lesson to the public when faced with difficult situations on the road,” she said.
On Tuesday, the court found Yew guilty of the culpable homicide of Syed Muhammad Danial after the prosecution proved the case against him beyond a reasonable doubt under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine.
On July 20, Judge Julia ordered Yew to enter his defence on the charge of causing the death of Syed Muhammad Danial under Section 302 of the same Code, after the prosecution proved a prima facie case against him at the end of its case.
On August 22, 2019, Yew was charged with the murder of Syed Muhammad Danial, 29, at Kilometre 293.6 of the PLUS Highway (Kuala Lumpur-Seremban) between 1pm and 2pm on August 10, 2019. — Bernama