Teenager apologises for stepping on PM’s picture
UPDATED @ 07:04:54 PM 06-09-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — A teenager today apologised for stepping on the prime minister’s picture at Dataran Merdeka during the countdown of the country’s 55th National Day last week.
Ong Sing Yee, 19, had surrendered to the police in Johor yesterday to help in investigations over the incident.
“I apologise for my stepping on the prime minister’s picture at Dataran Merdeka,” she said at a press conference at the DAP headquarters here.
She said she had only followed suit when she saw others doing the same.
“Here, I would like to say sorry to everyone,” Ong said.
Her lawyer Eric Tan, who was also present at the press conference, said that she did it “unintentionally” and without realising it could be construed as seditious.
“Now knowing this has become an issue and especially [since] it could be investigated under [the] Sedition Act, she apologised and she emphasised that she wasn’t intentional on doing that.”
“She said very clearly that she did not intend to conduct any seditious act,” Tan said. “I think she has no actual intention to humiliate the PM.”
Tan added that Ong was informed that she was being investigated under the Sedition Act.
But he also said there was “double standards” at play, asking why police had not investigated similar incidents involving the pictures of the Penang chief minister and Kelantan mentri besar under the Sedition Act.
Last Thursday, several individuals were recorded tearing up posters with the images of the prime minister, his wife and Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof at Dataran Merdeka.
A few individuals were also spotted waving a pre-independence flag, the Sang Saka Malaya, instead of the national flag, which Umno later blamed on the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Bukit Aman’s CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin had on Monday told The Malaysian Insider that the police were probing the two separate incidents under the Sedition Act ― despite Putrajaya’s decision to repeal the controversial law that has been widely panned as a tool to curb political dissent.
He added that stepping on pictures of Najib and wife were considered offences under Sections 290 and 504 of the Penal Code for being public nuisances and intentionally causing insult with intent to provoke a breach of the public peace, respectively.
Those convicted under Section 290 may be fined up to RM400 while those found guilty under Section 504 can be jailed up to two years or fined, or both.