Sam freed on RM10,000 bail in ‘basikal lajak’ case

Sam freed on RM10,000 bail in ‘basikal lajak’ case

PUTRAJAYA: A female clerk who was jailed for reckless driving which resulted in the death of eight teenagers on modified bicycles, commonly known as “basikal lajak”, five years ago, was today released on bail of RM10,000 with one surety pending the hearing of her appeal at the Court of Appeal.

A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, led by judge Datuk P. Ravinthran, sitting with judges Datuk Lee Heng Cheong and Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, allowed the application by Sam Ke Ting, 27, to stay the execution of the six-year jail sentence and RM6,000 fine imposed by the High Court.

The court today also allowed Sam’s application for leave to appeal against the decision of the Johor Bahru High Court made last April 13.

High Court Judge Datuk Abu Bakar of Qatar, who meted out the jail sentence and fine on Sam, also ordered the woman to be jailed for six months if she failed to pay the fine and a three-year driving ban upon completion of her prison term.

The court handed down the decision after allowing the prosecution’s appeal to set aside the Magistrate’s Court’s decision on Oct 10 last year, which acquitted and discharged the woman.

The three -judge panel allowed the application by Sam, who was in court in a blue baju kurung and with her hand cuffed, after deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup did not object to the application.

Manoj said the prosecution had not objection to the application as the case was of public interest and that the applicant (Sam) would not run away.

Following which, Ravinthran allowed the application for leave to appeal, and an appeal to stay the execution of the sentence.

“We have discussed and the applicant (Sam) was released on bail of RM10,000 with one surety,“ said Ravinthran in the unanimous decision.

The court also allowed an application by lawyer Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar, representing Sam, to amend the notice of appeal by including a question of law.

Muhammad Faizal said the application was made as he had difficulty in obtaining the notes of the High Court proceedings on the case due to time constraints.

“The application for leave to appeal was filed on Thursday (April 14) along with two supporting affidavits. Since Friday is a weekend in Friday, I had difficulty communicating with the court. Therefore, I did not have time to get the the notes of the proceedings from the court,“ he said.

According to the lawyer, there are six legal questions that need to be answered, including whether Sam’s unsworn testimony is admissible as an explanation to her defense and whether there is a burden on her to prove her responsibility to be more careful on the road than the group of cyclists who obstructed the way.

Muhammad Faizal, in his submission for stay of execution of the sentence and when appealing for bail t, said, based on the court record, his client was present at every trial and had no risk of fleeing.

“The applicant (Sam) who worked as a clerk previously was bailed RM10,000 with one surety by the court.” he said.

Earlier during the proceedings, the three-judge panel allowed an application by the Bar Council, represented by lawyer Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal, to be amicus curiae (friend of the court), but rejected two similar applications by MCA and the Alumni Association of Universiti Malaya’s Law Faculty (PARFUM).

Sam, who was 22 years-old, at the time of the incident, was charged with committing the offence at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Bahru, Johor at 3.20 am on 18 Feb 2017.

The eight teenagers killed in the incident were Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14; Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16; Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14 and Haizad Kasrin, 16.

When met by reporters after the proceedings, Muhammad Faizal said his client advised the public not to debate the case by raising racial issues.

“My client is a person who abides by the rule of law and abides by the court’s decision,” he said.

According to Muhammad Faizal, his client was well taken care of in prison and she thanked her family, friends and all those who had supported her. – Bernama