‘Holding hands’ case: Court rejects impeachment bid
Wong Yeen Fern
Nov 20, 06 7:51pm
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) magistrate’s court today denied a request to move an impeachment proceeding against a witness in the controversial ‘holding hands’ trial.
The request was made by defence counsel S Selvam who accused second witness, DBKL personnel Rosmi Mahmud, of making false statements.
“If the court disallowed (the proceeding), how can the court make a positive judgment?” he asked.
However, magistrate Rasyihah Ghazali shot down the request but did not cite any reasons.
Selvam is representing Ooi Kean Thong and Siow Ai Wei who were issued summonses under section 8 (1) of the Public Parks By-Laws (Federal Territory) 1981 for allegedly kissing and hugging at the KLCC park on Aug 2, 2003.
The couple, who have since separated, insisted that they were merely reading letters and holding hands when they were approached by the DBKL officers who allegedly issued the summonses after the couple refused to pay them off.
Earlier, Selvam questioned Rosmi on what had transpired on the day of the incident.
Selvam: Did you disobey Rais Mohd Rashid’s (who heads the officers at the KLCC garden) orders on Aug 2, 2003?
Rosmi: I did not disobey.
Selvam: Have you ever been accused by (former) Kuala Lumpur mayor (Shaid Mohd Taufek) of disobeying Rais’s orders?
(The orders were pertaining to a DBKL decision not to issue any summonses at the park.)
It was on this contradictory response that Selvam applied for the impeachment order.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Arrifin Hisham also argued against the need for an impeachment proceeding as the court has the ability to evaluate the statements made by witnesses.
“The court is wise enough to evaluate whether the statements given are true or false, unless the defence counsel can prove that the witness had contradictory statements,” he said.
Hearing will continue on Dec 11.
If found guilty, Ooi and Siow can be slapped with a one-year jail term or a maximum fine of RM2,000 or both.
DBKL officer: I saw couple acting indecently
Wong Yeen Fern
Sep 25, 06 7:00pm
A Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officer today described at the magistrate’s court the alleged indecent behaviour of a couple which prompted them to be issued summonses.
Rosmi Mahmood, 47, told the court that he found the couple - Ooi Kean Tong, 27 and Siow Ai Wei, 25, - hiding themselves under a tree and behaving indecently at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre public park in 2003.
To questions by Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Ariffin Hisham, Rosmi said that Ooi was hugging Siow while facing her at the time he saw them.
Ariffin: How was Ooi seated when you saw him?
Rosmi: He was sitting on the grass by putting his hands around the girl and also with his legs wide open facing the girl
Ariffin: What did you see the couple doing?
Rosmi: I saw the boy hugging the girl and touching her nose and then (touched ) towards the cheek.
The witness added that he then instructed his fellow officer (and the first witness) Mohd Noor Abdul Manaf to issue summonses to the couple.
Ooi and Siow were issued summonses under Section 8 (1) of the Public Parks By-Laws (Federal Territory) 1981 for allegedly indulging in kissing and hugging at the KLCC park on August 2, 2003. The couple are no longer together.
If found guilty under the charge, they can each be given a one-year jail term or a maximum fine of RM2000 or both.
Earlier today Magistrate Rashihah Ghazali rejected an application by defence counsel S Selvam to dismiss the case as it was groundless. She then allowed the prosecution to continue the trial with their witnesses.
Selvam said he will be appealing against the magistrate’s decision. The case continues to Nov 20 and Dec 11.
This case drew international media coverage and sparked off widespread public outcry domestically when it first broke.
The couple insist that they were merely reading letters and holding hands when City Hall enforcement officers accosted them.
They pleaded not guilty when they were charged at the City Hall Magistrate Court in 2004 and again when the charge against them was technically amended on July 19 this year.
I’m still suspended, DBKL officer tells court
Jul 18, 06 8:49pm
A Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officer, who had summoned a young couple for allegedly offensive behaviour three years ago at the KLCC public park, admitted in court today that he had been suspended from his position following the highly-publicised incident.
Testifying at City Hall Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Lumpur, Mohd Noor Abdul Manaf, 52, said a DBKL disciplinary board had convened soon after the incident and suspended him for ‘disobeying orders and not being responsible’.
He added that his suspension was still in force and besides this, there was an Anti-Corruption Agency case against him for which he was currently on a RM2,000 bail.
Mohd Noor was testifying as a prosecution witness at the trial of a young couple who were issued a DBKL compound for alleged indecent behavior at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre park on Aug 2, 2003.
Before the trial started this morning, deputy public prosecutor Nor Ariffin Hisham from the Attorney-General’s Chambers applied to the court to have the charge amended.
Ooi Kean Tong, 25 (pix), and Siow Ai Wei, 23, are now charged under Section 3 (v) of the Parks (Federal Territory) By-laws 1981 which ‘prohibits the use of indecent language or offensive behaviour’. They pleaded not guilty.
When the case was first mentioned in 2004, they were charged under Section 8 (1) for ‘behaving in a disorderly manner’. If found guilty under the new charge, they can each be given a one-year jail term or a maximum fine of RM2,000 or both.
Mohd Noor told the court that he was on his way to work for an event at the KLCC park at about 5pm when he stumbled upon the couple under a tree. He said that together with his colleague Rosmi Mahmud, he disembarked from their motorcycle and approached the couple on foot.
“The male was sitting and embracing the female from behind and resting his hands on her abdomen. His head was caressing her face as though they were kissing,” said Noor.
He claimed that he had observed the couple for between three to four minutes before Rosmi moved in to explain the offence to the couple.
Ariffin: “After explaining to the offence to the couple, what was their reaction?”
Noor: “They asked what was the amount of the compound. Rosmi replied that it would not be over RM500, maybe RM400, RM300 or RM200, depending on the compounds officer and if paid within 14 days at (the DBKL headquarters) in Jalan Raja Laut.”
Ariffin: “What happened next?”
Noor: “The male said that he only had RM50 and attempted to take out his wallet but Rosmi asked him not to do so.”
Following this, Noor said that Rosmi ordered him to issue a compound to the couple.
“Since I had lost my glasses, I asked Rosmi to help me write the compound as the words on the identity card were too small. I then signed the compound,” said Noor.
Cross-examined by defence counsel S Selvam, Noor then admitted his suspension from work and the pending ACA case.
Noor claimed that he did not know what DBKL instructions he had allegedly disobeyed. He disagreed with counsel’s contention that he was not supposed to be on duty on the day of the incident.
Former mayor lying?
Selvam then tendered a news report dated Sept 18, 2003 as a court exhibit which quoted then Kuala Lumpur Mayor Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek (pix) as announcing Noor’s suspension on the grounds that Noor was found guilty of patrolling an area not defined to him.
Noor, however, disagreed with this.
Selvam: “I put it to you that you are lying in court today.”
Noor: “I disagree.”
Selvam: “Then was the (former) mayor lying?”
Noor: “I’m not sure.”
Hearing was then postponed to tomorrow morning.
Ooi’s and Siow’s case drew international media coverage and sparked off widespread public outcry domestically when it first broke. The couple insist that they were merely reading letters and holding hands when City Hall enforcement officers approached them.
They also claim that the officers issued them with the summonses when they refused to pay a bribe.
Couple’s ‘indecent behaviour’ trial postponed
Jun 23, 05 1:54pm
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) court today postponed the hearing involving a young couple charged with indecent behaviour to Sept 27.
Magistrate Mohd Khairi Haron deferred the matter as he was engaged with other cases.
Ooi Kean Tong, 22 and his girlfriend Siow Ai Wei, 21 were accused of hugging and kissing at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) park on Aug 2, 2003.
They were issued summonses under Section 8 (1) of the park bylaws (Federal Territory) 1981 for indecent behaviour.
The pair claimed trial, saying that they were merely reading letters and holding hands when approached by DBKL enforcement officers.
They claimed that the officers had asked them for bribe money and slapped them with summonses when they refused to pay.
If found guilty, the couple can be charged with a one-year jail term or a maximum fine of RM2,000 or both.
Non-governmental organisations and politicians have decried the incident, saying it would make Malaysia the laughing stock of the world and would affect its tourism industry.